It's that time of the year when special events galore take place every weekend - outdoor expo, horse show, monster truck show and every other show.
Each event features booths, exhibits and more, and all those booths ask you to write your personal contact information on an entry form to win a prize. But, do you ever wonder what happens when you enter a contest to win?
Let me tell you the story of Jazminn Caballero, of Pocatello. She recently attended a monster truck show. During the lull before the show she looked at the myriad booths that filled the foyer and was attracted to a booth that promised a "Trip to Disneyland" grand prize.
The winner was going to be contacted by phone after the event, she says. The person at the booth was very polite and helpful, so she figured it wouldn't hurt to just put her name into the fishbowl.
On Monday night, she says she got the call - she had won!
"They explained my prize and then asked for a credit card number," she says. "I think I was too excited to ask them more questions. I didn't get the company name, but once they asked for my card information I wanted to check more into it."
Lucky for Jazminn, she didn't give out any financial information, but disconnected the call.
Not all drawings are fraudulent. Some businesses want to give deserving entry winners a prize. How can you determine if you're giving your information to a lead generation "fish bowl" or a prize drawing. Better Business Bureau encourages all businesses to be transparent when they collect personal information as to what their intent and uses will be.
Recently, we were registering Treasure Valley residents for a class at College of Western Idaho. One woman called me and asked why I wanted her email address.
I explained that we sent registration confirmation emails and then deleted the addresses.
Any information can compromise your identity, so you should be careful to whom you give it and how.
I was standing in line at my local grocery store recently. The woman in front of me placed her debit card on top of some items. I simply glanced down and noticed it was a Visa card. Nevertheless, in plain sight, I could read her name and the card's numbers.
In the few minutes that the card rested on the groceries, I could have captured some crucial information.
Bottom line: Momentary lapses can leave you in a scammer's wake. To whom do they sell your personal information? Anyone they can - like the caller who told me she'd won the free cruise.
Jazminn told me she was going to call the Holt Arena in Pocatello to report this incident.
Robb Hicken: 947-2115