Archive for Monday, March 15, 2010

Sweepstakes scam hits Johnson County

March 15, 2010

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe is warning of a scam in which area residents are called and congratulated on winning a publishing house sweepstakes then contacted again separately seeking a tax payment on the prize.

Howe’s office said over the weekend individuals who had received telephone calls from fraudsters claiming to represent the Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes contacted the Olathe Police Department. The callers told the individuals they were winners of a $32,000 cash prize. The catch: The individuals then were contacted by the “IRS” advising them they would have to pay 9 percent taxes of their winnings.

Howe cautioned individuals not to fall prey to scam artists who have the technology to create convincing counterfeit checks and to protect themselves from con games by discarding offers from sources that ask you to pay fees, taxes or other charges to claim a prize.

Anyone who thinks they are a victim of a sweepstakes is asked to contact the Johnson County District Attorney’s Consumer Hotline at (913) 715-3003.

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