“Make-A-Wish” Sweepstakes scam is back again

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Most of us are aware of the well-known Publishers Clearing House scam, but not to be outdone, scammers have begun calling consumers posing as the “Make-A-Wish Foundation Sweepstakes”. These scammers call from the “Consumer Protection Agency” to inform consumers that they’ve won the second-place prize in the Make-A-Wish Foundation Sweepstakes which is a grand total of $450,000. To claim the price, consumers must pay $4,500 in processing fees. If the consumer did not have the amount necessary to claim the prize, the scammer would then offer to loan the money to the “winner” by wiring money to their bank account once the consumer provided the number.

In the days following the initial phone call, the scammer makes a follow-up call explaining to the consumer that the grand prize winner was ineligible due to being an illegal immigrant. In lieu of this discovery, the second-place winner has now won both prizes for a grand total of almost $1.5 million! The consumer just needs to pay the additional processing fee and the money will be on its way. If the consumer begins to question the legitimacy of the sweepstakes, they are given a phone number to verify the “Make-A-Wish Foundation Sweepstakes”, which is manned by a fellow scammer in on the criminal enterprise.

If you receive a phone call mimicking this scenario, remember the following tips provided by AARP:

  • The Make-A-Wish Foundation never engages in sweepstakes.
  • There is no such agency as the “Consumer Protection Agency” and the Federal Trade Commission does not handle sweepstakes (though they do go after fraudulent ones).
  • A similar scam occurred seven years ago, and the criminals could steal more than $20 million before being shut down.
  • If you get a call like this, hang up immediately and report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

Source: AARP

If you or someone you know receives a call regarding this bogus Make-A-Wish Foundation Sweepstakes, please notify the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP or ftc.gov/complaint.

To read more, go to New Make-A-Wish Scam a Triple Threat That Swindled $20 Million Last Time.  To find trustworthy businesses, go to https://www.bbb.org/northern-alabama/.