Scam targets winners of Tucson Medical Center's Mega Raffle

BBB issues warning after callers promise prizes in return for cash
2013-07-13T00:00:00Z Scam targets winners of Tucson Medical Center's Mega RaffleAngela Pittenger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 13, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Scammers are posing as representatives of Tucson Medical Center's Mega Raffle, calling Southern Arizona residents and claiming they've won a car and a prize package, the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona warns.

Several Tucsonans told the BBB they received the calls. In at least one case, the caller claimed to be located in Benson and would personally drive the car to the consumer's Tucson home after the consumer wired $500 to cover "taxes and fees."

TMC officials told the BBB the Mega Raffle was wrapped up in early June when all winners were notified in writing and all prizes were awarded. The big prizes included cash, houses and cars.

Representatives of TMC Mega Raffle are not making any calls asking for additional information.

Michael Duran, TMC vice president and chief development officer, told BBB that the scammers seem to be using the winners' list that was posted on the TMC Mega Raffle website. Although that list includes only a first initial, last name and city, Duran said, it appears they are using that limited information to identify possible targets for their scheme.

But he assures contestants that their information has not been, nor will be, shared with any outside entity other than as necessary to deliver their prize.

The BBB wants to remind consumers to never wire money to anyone who contacts them by phone claiming they've won a sweepstakes or a raffle.

It's not uncommon for scammers to use the names of well-known companies like TMC or Publishers Clearing House to trick victims to send fees or taxes by wire service.

If a consumer has won in a legitimate raffle or sweepstakes, he would never be required to pay money to receive his winnings. Contestants would not be required to wire transfer money.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of a scam is encouraged to call the Better Business Bureau at 888-5353.

Contact reporter Angela Pittenger at apitteng@azstarnet.com or 573-4137.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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