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David N. Kirkman
Task Force Alert
Asst Attorney General
Consumer Protection
NC Department of
P.O. Box 629
Raleigh, NC 27602

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North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

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To Members of the NC Senior Consumer Fraud Task Force

******Alert #247******

Sweepstakes scammers claiming to be with the government or with the well-known charity Make-A-Wish Foundation are contacting consumers and telling them they have won a contest being run by that organization. Then they try to persuade call recipients to wire money to cover taxes or fees associated with the supposed prize. Legitimate sweepstakes operations would not require anyone to send money in advance in order to receive a prize or award. No government agency would make such calls or demands for advance payment either. The following is a warning issued yesterday by Make-A-Wish Foundation:

  • From time to time, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® and its supporters fall victim to scams that illegally make use of the good name and trademarks of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As a matter of policy, the Make-A-Wish Foundation does not participate in chain letters, telemarketing, or sweepstakes activities.
  • Fraudulent Sweepstakes Alert The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America urgently renewed a nationwide scam alert today (June 14), warning individuals not to believe anyone calling their homes and posing as federal employees demanding advance payment of taxes on fictitious sweepstakes prizes supposedly awarded by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • A number of individuals have reported to us that they, or a family member or a friend, have received a phone call informing them they have allegedly won hundreds of thousands of dollars (e.g., $350,000) in a sweepstakes or lottery associated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. These individuals have been told that, in order to claim their “prize,” they must first wire money to cover taxes, insurance and courier services on the supposed winnings.

This is a scam. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is NOT associated with any kind of sweepstakes or lottery; and it has always had a strict policy prohibiting telemarketing in its name to raise money.

Callers may claim to be agents of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Internal Revenue Service or the U.S. Customs Service. They often provide fictitious names and phone numbers of people who falsely claim to be representatives of the Make-A-Wish Foundation or insurance carriers such as Lloyd’s of London.


******End of Alert******

Date: June 15, 2010

David N. Kirkman
Assistant Attorney General
Task Force Alerts Chair
Consumer Protection Division
Office of Attorney General Roy Cooper
9001 Mail Processing Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
Tel. 919-716-6000



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NC Senior Consumer
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