Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Reader’s Digest sweepstakes scam letters offer no returns

When you’re living on a fixed income, the chance that you’ve been selected in a sweepstakes can create a bit of excitement. Joe Volkert of Boise says the letter from Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes Award looked to be real. It stated that he was the rightful owner of a $920,000 grand prize. All he needed to do was contact Anthony Williams or Stacy Anderson.

“Contact our office and our representative will assist you with insurance fee, legal fee, and documentation fee as well as your taxes,” he says.

And to top it off, “Enclosed is a cheque” to help pay all fees.

Joe was alert if you win a sweepstakes you don’t have to pay anything. It’s a sweepstakes, but the tip-off was the Canadian spelling for “check.” The letter was signed David Williams, vice-president.

Joe folded up the letter and accompanying check and mailed it to BBB.

Better Business Bureau is warning residents about the sweepstakes scam. The letter bears a Reader’s Digest letterhead and a New York City address, and contains a check for more than $9,000, supposedly issued by Tower Hill Insurance. Neither company is involved in the phony sweepstakes.

Reader’s Digest issued the statement saying, “The reputations of legitimate corporations whose names are being hijacked are also tarnished. Our own company, Reader’s Digest, has fallen victim to these thieves, as have other well-known firms.”

The phone number to call — 778-714 — is registered for Vancouver, British Columbia area.

When consumers call a telephone number on the document, they are urged to deposit the check drafted on a Wachovia Bank account that is provided to aid in the mandatory payment of the insurance and administrative fees. Tower Hill Insurance, in this instance, has issued a statement and is working diligently with national law enforcement to help solve these crimes.

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