Ken Paxton

Be Alert When Dealing with Pop-up Ads Online

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Consumers should proceed with caution when following up on unsolicited online advertisements, especially pop-up advertisements. My office has received reports of people being scammed by sweepstakes offers.

The reason the scam works is because of an appealing risk/reward factor. The pop-up ad will offer you a chance to enter a sweepstakes with a lucrative pay out, for a very small amount of money, in some cases just a single dollar. You will then be asked for your bank account information.

When victims review their accounts, they find that there have been periodic debits of $15-20 or more. In some cases, consumers reported being charged for two or three years.

When surfing online, always proceed cautiously:

  • Never pay a fee to enter a sweepstakes or contest of any kind.

  • Never submit your bank account information online, especially in response to a pop-up ad or unsolicited email.

  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.