Consumers: Watch out for this new sweepstakes scam

ajc.com

Here’s the first thing consumers should know: the Make-a-Wish Foundation does not run sweepstakes competitions.

Here's what you should do: Hang up and report it to the Georgia Secretary of State's charities division.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Thursday  issued a warning to Georgia consumers about a new scam making the rounds.

The  Federal Trade Commission reported that con artists pretending to be government officials are calling people to tell them that they have won a cash sweepstakes through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, a national charity for children with a life-threatening medical condition. The foundation, though, doesn't run sweepstakes.

There’s a catch.

To claim the prize, scammers tell the “winners” that they must hand over thousands of dollars to cover processing fees. Kemp urges Georgians not to be fooled and immediately report suspicious solicitations to the charities division.

“We all have to be vigilant for charity scams, and unfortunately, con artists are at it again to steal your hard-earned money,” Kemp said in a statement. “These government imposters are sullying the name of a well-known, beloved charity for our nation’s sickest children. I am encouraging all Georgians to be on the lookout for fraud and help us hold these bad actors responsible for their reprehensible behavior.”

So far, the charities division has not received any complaints, but the state wants to spread the word to consumers. To report suspicious activity, call 404-654-6023 or email charities@sos.ga.gov to submit a complaint.