Beware of sweepstakes scam using NBC logo

By Aaron Gilchrist - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - What would you do if someone offered you $125,000, for doing absolutely nothing?

It's happening to people all across the country, including a New Kent County couple.

The money comes in the form of sweepstakes winnings.  Though in this latest scam, con artists use the reputations of television networks to try to convince you that you've won the big prize.

A good bit of Daniel and Shanda Redman's TV time is spent watching NBC12. They like the programs and respect the newscasts.

So when a fat check and letter arrived in the mail bearing the nbc logo and the words "grand prize winner" the redman's thought they had hit the jackpot.

"They make it sound so official because I mean one, it has the NBC logo on there," Daniel Redman said.

But as Daniel read a little further, the big bucks just didn't add up.   First of all, he didn't remember entering any sweepstakes contests.

"They're gonna send us $125,000 and send us the $3,115 to cover the costs and everything.  That just don't seem right," he said.

Red flag number two: Daniel says the check didn't offer any information about the bank other than a name.

"There's no address for the bank or any phone number or anything identifying the bank as being legitimate," he said.

Our producer also did some digging about the company listed on the letter -- DMB Financial Management.

It's a real company,  and on their website a big warning.

They say the NBC International Sweepstakes is a check cashing scam exploiting DMB and NBC.

"It's just something someone printed off their computer to get your money," Redman said.

Daniel did what you're supposed to and called the sheriff's office which told him to destroy the check.

"I immediately wrote void on the check and tore the check into little pieces and threw it in the trash can," Redman said.

If he had deposited the check, then wired the sender that $3,000 the check would eventually have bounced and left Daniel holding the bag.

"If you get something like this and it sounds like you're gonna win $125K and they're gonna send you the money to get it, throw it away because no one's gonna give you their money to send you a prize," he said with a laugh.

Now you're supposed to report these financial scams to the FBI, but they're so prevalent, the bureau could spend all their time trying to track down the scammers.

The Federal Trade Commission has some great tips on how to avoid these types of scams. See the link at right.

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