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New Mexicans Warned About Make-A-Wish Sweepstakes Scam

New Mexicans Warned About Make-A-Wish Sweepstakes Scam

Scammers are asking New Mexicans to send upwards of $3,500 to claim their fictitious prize.

Callers are posing as officers of a “Consumer Protection Agency” and telling New Mexicans they’ve won hundreds of thousands of dollars in a sweepstakes allegedly conducted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The supposed winners are told they must first pay money to cover taxes, insurance and/or courier fees in order to claim their “prize.” The scammers are asking New Mexicans to send or wire upwards of $3,500 in order to claim their fictitious prize.

“Make-A-Wish New Mexico does not conduct sweepstakes and we do not participate in telemarketing of any type,” said Bob Biggers, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish New Mexico. “We continue to do important work granting life-changing wishes for children in our state with critical illnesses, so it is incredibly disappointing that people would use the trusted name of Make-A-Wish in a fraudulent way.”

“It doesn’t get any lower than trying to steal from New Mexicans by fraudulently invoking a charity that serves innocent children fighting for their lives,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas.

If you have to pay to claim a prize, it’s probably a scam — especially if you don’t remember entering a contest or drawing. The Office of the Attorney General is aware of at least one consumer in New Mexico who has fallen victim to this scam. Be vigilant in protecting yourself from scams like this because once the money is sent, it may never be recovered.

If you believe you’ve been contacted by a scammer, fallen victim to a scam, or have information regarding a scam call, contact the Office of the Attorney General at 505-717-3500.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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