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 2ndplace 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.