BBB Alert

Jul 12, 2013 5:47 PM by Brian White

Scammers posing as TMC raffle officials dupe Tucsonans

The Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is warning consumers of scammers posing as representatives from Tucson Medical Center's Mega Raffle, calling Southern Arizona residents, and claiming they've won a car and a "prize package."

Multiple Tucson consumers have told BBB that they received the call, and in at least one case the caller claimed to be located in Benson, and would personally deliver the car to the consumer's house in Tucson after the consumer wired $500 to them to cover "taxes and fees."

TMC's Mega Raffle wrapped for 2013 in early June when all winners were notified in writing and all prizes were awarded, TMC officials told BBB. TMC Mega Raffle representatives are not making any calls inquiring for additional information.

"At Tucson Medical Center, we find it extremely unfortunate that scammers are trying to take advantage of a raffle that raises money for patients in need at Southern Arizona's community hospital," said TMC vice president and Chief Development Officer Michael Duran. "We thank everyone who helped support TMC by purchasing Mega Raffle tickets."

Duran told BBB that it appears the scammers are using the winner's list that was posted on the TMC Mega Raffle website.

"The list includes only the first initial, last name and city; however, it appears they are using that limited information to identify possible targets for their scheme," Duran said. "Participants can be assured that their information has not been, nor ever will be, shared with any outside entity other than as necessary to deliver their prize. "

BBB reminds consumers to never wire money to anyone who contacts them by phone claiming they've won a sweepstakes or a raffle. Legitimate sweepstakes or raffles will never require their contestants to pay money to receive their winnings, and they'll never request their contestants wire transfer money.

BBB Tips:
• It's not uncommon for scammers to use the names of well-known companies like TMC- or national entities like Publishers Clearing House- in an attempt to trick victims to send "fees or taxes" by wire service.
• Never wire funds from your financial accounts unless you know and trust the recipient on the other end.
• No legitimate lottery, sweepstakes, or raffle requires any kind of advanced fees in order to collect winnings.
• If you feel threatened, don't hesitate in contacting your local police department.
• Never provide any personal or financial information to anyone who calls.

For more information on telephone, lottery and sweepstakes scams visit www.bbb.org/scam-stopper, or if you are a victim of a scam, contact BBB by calling (520)888-5353.

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