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You Won an SUV or 25 Thousand Dollars

[UPDATED BELOW 6/12/19] In the first two weeks of June, 2017 we heard from several TDS readers who received the phone message below from “Todd” calling from 844-997-5678.

Todd calls on behalf of the Win-A-Car Sweepstakes to say that you’ve won a brand new 2016 SUV or $25,0000.  Your entry was submitted via a “local mall, a grocery store, a restaurant, or event that was attended.”  WOW!  That covers about everything that any adult has done sometime in the last two weeks!  Furthermore…. “I have excellent news for you, your entry was selected!”  The winner is asked to call 866-796-0858.  This is truly laughable!

If you get a scam call like this send it to us!

On August 16 we received this sound file from a TDS reader about this scam. The call came from “Alex”  from the “win-a-car sweekstakes” 888-262-9051.  Extension 392.

This scam is still hitting people in mid-September, 2016.  We received this message from a reader on September 12: “I just received the phone message from “Todd” calling from 844-997-5678 about winning an SUV or $25,000. I live in [REMOVED], FL and am a disabled senior. It was an automated message that asked me press 1 to get the prize. I clicked 1 to find out who it was as I’m keeping a list of companies that call multiple times with scams or credit card “help” as I don’t have a credit card.  A woman answered the phone and said “Prizes” but she was difficult to hear. I said “Who?” and she hung up.”

UPDATES 6/12/19:

On June 12, 2019 a gentleman contacted us to say he had been receiving calls and voicemails from different names, but all saying he had won the $25,000 givieaway that he had entered within the last 8 months. Coincidentally, he says he had entered several sweepstakes last year and so he called the number provided. He spoke to a woman who identified herself as “Erin,” different from the name identified in the voice message. Erin informed him that the previous person just stepped out and she would assist him. Erin explained that he had won and she would like to schedule him to attend a brief presentation with his spouse. Erin said his reward is guaranteed to be either a $400 TV, a Trip for two, $25,000, or an SUV. She did not ask for any other info, according to the man. She just told him to schedule a visit to a presentation, bring his wife, ID, credit card, and she gave him the address to an office building in Ontario, Calif. He asked what is the company that is presenting and she replied “Destinations Center” adding that it is a new company and this giveaway is their promotion. The gentleman asked us if we thought this is legitimate or not, and that Ontario, California was about a 90 minute drive. All of this sounded HIGHLY suspicious to us and reminded us of the high-pressure and sneaky marketing tactics that timeshares of the 1980s and 1990s used to offer.

1. The voice message told him he had won $25,000 but “Erin” said he was guaranteed to win “either a $400 TV, a Trip for two, $25,000, or an SUV.” We’ll bet $5 that he will only win a trip for 2 to some odd-ball destination with blackout dates and lots of restrictions, and it won’t include airfare!

2. Why does he need to sit through a presentation in order to collect his winnings? Again, we will bet money that this presentation is a high pressure sales tactic for a timeshare or similar real estate or vacation venture.

3. Using Google, we search for any business named “Destinations Center” and found absolutely nothing. We also searched the BBB.org website and only found an unrated business called “The Destination Center” that offers sightseeing tours and based in Walnut Creek, California and a 6 hour drive from Ontario, CA where the man was asked to bring his wife.

All of this sounds questionable and shady to us, especially when you add up all of the “$25,000 winners” who have contacted us or posted online about their “winnings.”

 

UPDATES 5/10/19:
It has been six months since anyone has reported this scam from “Todd.”  But on May 10th we heard from a woman who received a voice message from “Brett” telling her that she had won a cash giveaway sweepstakes by a drawing she had entered at a “local mall, a restaurant or an event you may have attended.”  Brett sure sounds like Todd and others! Apparently Todd/Brett is no longer giving away the SUV.  The woman was asked to call 866-495-5058.  Lots of people have been reporting this phone number online as a scam, such as on 800notes.com.  Have a listen…


A TDS reader sent us this voice message on her phone on November 8, 2018.  Apparently “Alex” is still going strong telling people they have won $25,000 from a contest they have been entered into.  Lots of people talking about this scam on 800Notes.com.  One person claims that caller ID was traced back to Romania.  We have no evidence to support this claim…yet.


Today, October 12, 2018, we received the voice message below from a TDS Reader who heard from “Katie” that she won $25,000 from a sweepstakes that she had been entered into.  Same script as all these other scam recordings sent to us by readers but you didn’t win a car, just the cash!  You are asked to call 844-892-4191, extension 773.


(April, 2018) Apparently this scam is still alive and well in Spring, 2018.  On April 23, 2018 we heard from two readers who both sent us this lovely recording of Anna, informing them they had won!  The call came from 844-293-1863.

On June 21, we heard from a TDS reader named Buddy who said that he just got a call from “Ryan” telling him that he had entered a “win a new car Sweep Stakes” or 25k in the last 18 months somewhere and his name was selected.  Buddy was told to call 888-428-3391. Extension 221.

Wendy sent us the same scam call that came to her voice messages and said it came from 844-789-3466.

Others have sent us emails and more audio files of the same voice as above, who now calls himself “Ryan” and informing them all that they have won.  “B” said the call came from 844-789-3456.  “Ryan” said he had won a new 2017 car or 25,000 cash prize and then told him  to call 888-428-3391 x 221.

We heard from Adrian and Laurie who both received a call from “Melissa” from Win A Car Sweepstakes at (844) 789-3456. Both said….”She told me I won a 2017 car or $25K! Yay! She asked that I call her at (844) 868-2747 Ex 429.”

On March 14 we received an email from Adele telling us that she also received a call from “Melissa.”  The call showed up as PNC on her caller ID.  She didn’t answer & the caller left a voicemail. The number that called was 844-999-6161.  The voicemail said “Hi this is Melissa, I’m calling on behalf of the Win A Car Sweepstakes in regards to an official contest entry form that you have submitted within the last 18 months, to win a brand new 2017 vehicle or 25K in cash. It may have been submitted at a local mall, a restaurant, or an event you attended. I have excellent news for you. Your entry has been selected. Please contact me at your earliest convenience toll-free 844-868-2747. My extension is 429. And again my name is Melissa. Congratulations and have a great day.”

On April 11, Cheryl emailed us to say that she had won $25K on the “Hot Cash Give-away.” The message came to her from 844-999-6161.  She was instructed to call “Kyle” at 888-263-1974, ext. 917.

On May 3, Joanne told us that Kyle is still in business! He called Joanne to say that she had been selected to win $25,000 in a “hot cash giveaway.”  His number is 888-263-1974 ext. 917.  She called back to tell Kyle where he can stick his hot cash giveaway!

On June 19, Laura said that she received a call 6 times from 888-447-7310 about this scam and she was asked to call back extension 430.  And on July 14, Tammy received a call from “Peter” that she had also won and was asked to call this number and extension.

On October 24 we heard from a man who sent us this recording.  Apparently “Alex” is now calling himself “Travis.”  Sound familiar?  He wants you to call 877-406-0247 this time.

Lots of people are getting calls from Travis!  To hear from them, visit:

https://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-877-406-0247/2#p1284726345564135747

UPDATE 12/12/17:
The man who has called himself Todd, Ryan, Alex Peter and Travis is now calling himself Patrick!  A reader named Jon sent us this recording from “Patrick” saying that he was a holiday cash winner of $25,000!  Jon was asked to call 877-672-0940, extension 335.  Once again, lots of people reporting this scam on 800notes.com.

Many TDS Readers have been sending us voice messages of this scam.  It appears that “Patrick” is still at it. Here is the message sent to us by a recipient on February 16:

“Hi, this is Patrick I’m calling with our holiday cash giveaway in regards to an official contest entry form that was submitted in your name to win $25,000 in cash. The entry may have been submitted at a local Mall or an event you may have attended. I have excellent news for you, your entry has been selected contact me at your earliest convenience toll free 877-672-0940. My extension is 335 and again my name is Patrick, congratulations and have a great day.”

Check out our feature article: Deceptive Consumer Services