Your Better Business Bureau is hearing from northwest Florida residents who have received phone calls from scammers claiming they have won the Reader’s Digest sweepstakes. But rather than winning millions, victims end up losing money.
Individuals across the U.S., including residents of northwest Florida, have reported receiving phone calls that claim they have won $2.5 million from a Reader’s Digest sweepstakes. The scammer says the victim needs to pay $400-500 to cover taxes before the $2.5 million can be released by BBB. The scammer states the money needs to be wired to Jamaica before the winnings can be released.
“This is yet another scam seeking to take advantage of name recognition,” said Norman Wright, president and CEO of your BBB serving northwest Florida. “Scammers are using the well known and trusted names of BBB and Reader’s Digest to convince victims to wire funds to con artists operating outside of the country. BBB has nothing to do with sweepstakes and this is not how Reader’s Digest sweepstakes operate.”
BBB’s advice is simple: never wire money to someone you don’t know personally and trust completely. Once the money is wired, it’s gone. Don’t believe claims that you must pay the prize company for “taxes.” The IRS will contact you about any taxes that are due. If you have to pay to get a lotto/sweepstakes prize, don’t fall for it: it’s a scam!
For additional information and advice you can trust on marketplace scams, start with bbb.org.