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That Make-A-Wish Foundation Sweepstakes is a Fraud

AARP Fraud Network - 17-08-24
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AARP Fraud Watch

A new scam is popping up across the country using the name of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

How It Works:
  • The scammer calls from the “Consumer Protection Agency” or the “Federal Trade Commission” to tell you that you have won 2nd place in a Make-A-Wish Foundation sweepstakes – a $450,000 prize! You just have to pay $4,500 in processing fees to claim your award.
  • Don’t have the cash? No worries! The caller will offer to lend you the money. He just needs your bank account information to wire it to you.
  • There is typically a follow-up call explaining that the grand prizewinner is ineligible because he was an illegal immigrant, so guess what? You win your $450,000 prize PLUS the $1 million prize! You just need to pay extra for the processing.
  • The scammer will even give you a phone number you can call to verify the “Make-A-Wish Foundation Sweepstakes” is legit, but you are just calling a scammer who is part of the criminal enterprise.

What You Should Know:

  • 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 were able to steal more than $20 million before being shut down.

What You Should Do:

  • If you get a call like this, hang up.
  • 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.

When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family.

Tags: Make-A-Wish Foundation, Sweepstakes, Consumer Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission, grand prizewinner

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