A number of individuals have reported to us that they, or a family member or 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 Make-A-Wish. 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. Make-A-Wish 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 Make-A-Wish or insurance carriers such as Lloyd’s of London.
The FTC has issued a consumer alert urging anyone who receives such a call to file a complaint with the real FTC at ftc.gov or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.