FTC Sends Legitimate Redress Checks to Victims --and a Warning of Sweepstakes Scam

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There's some good news and bad news coming from the FTC this week. The good news is that victims of the bogus online pharmacy scam will be receiving legitimate redress checks in their mailbox any day. The bad news is; the FTC's name is being used in sweepstakes scam (see below VIDEO). Scammers impersonating the FTC are phoning consumers under the guise they have won a large sweepstakes and in order to collect their prize they need only pay taxes and insurance on their winnings of $250,000.  Here are more details on both;

First the good news;

Victims of Bogus Online Pharmacy Scheme Being Sent Reimbursement Checks This Week on Behalf of FTC

This week, the Federal Trade Commission mailed checks to 19,324 consumers nationwide who were defrauded by marketers accused of running a bogus online pharmacy that sold sham "membership packages" to elderly consumers. Consumers who were victims of this scam will receive a total of $159,000 in redress. These are legitimate checks, and the FTC urges consumers to cash them.

The reimbursement stems from the August 2009 settlement of a case brought as part of "Operation Tele-PHONEY," an FTC-led law enforcement sweep that included more than 180 actions against fraudulent telemarketers, including 13 brought by the FTC. In this case, known as Med Provisions, the FTC alleged that scammers based in Montreal, Canada, called consumers and told them their online pharmacy could save them 30 to 50 percent on their prescription drug costs. Consumers who paid the up-front fee were misled to believe the program came with a 30-day money-back guarantee if they were not satisfied. According to the FTC, consumers who ordered the "discount package" either received nothing or got a prescription card that turned out to be worthless.

The redress checks must be cashed by July 21, 2010. Consumers should call 1-877-789-9497 with any questions.

The FTC never requires the payment of money up front, or the provision of additional information, before consumers cash redress checks issued to them.

The bad news: Phony Sweepstakes Scam

"Hi, I'm calling from the Federal Trade Commission to tell you that you have won $250,000..."

Someone who claims to work for the Federal Trade Commission calls to inform you that you have won a lottery or sweepstakes. To receive the prize, all you have to do is pay the taxes and insurance. The caller asks you to wire money or send a check for an amount between $1,000 and $10,000. What should you do? Don't send money or account information, and immediately report the incident to the real Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC is the nation's consumer protection agency. It investigates fraud and provides free information, but it never collects money directly from consumers. FTC staffers don't have any involvement with this sweepstakes scam, but they do want you to avoid it.

The caller might suggest that the FTC is supervising the giveaway. He or she might even use the name of a real FTC employee. Your Caller ID might display the Federal Trade Commission's name or a Washington, DC area code. Don't be surprised if you receive repeated calls and follow-up faxes.

No matter how convincing the impersonation, you should never send money to claim a prize. No FTC employee will ever call to ask you to send money. Legitimate sweepstakes companies won't either. Many older consumers and their families have reported this kind of scam, but anyone could be contacted.

Keep from falling for the lure of sweepstakes scams by taking a few precautions:

Don't pay to collect sweepstakes winnings. If you have to pay to collect your winnings, you haven't won anything. Legitimate sweepstakes don't require you to pay "insurance," "taxes," or "shipping and handling charges" to collect your prize.

Hold on to your money. Scammers pressure people to wire money through commercial money transfer companies like Western Union because wiring money is the same as sending cash. If you discover you've been scammed, the money's gone, and there's very little chance of recovery. Likewise, resist any push to send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier. Con artists recommend these services, so they can get your money before you realize you've been cheated.

Look-alikes aren't the real thing. It's illegal for any promoter to lie about an affiliation with -- or an endorsement by -- a government agency or any other well-known organization. Disreputable companies sometimes use a variation of an official or nationally recognized name to try to confuse you and give you confidence in their offers. Insurance companies, including Lloyd's of London, do not insure delivery of sweepstakes winnings.

Phone numbers can deceive. Some con artists use Internet technology to call you. It allows them to disguise their area code: although it may look like they're calling from Washington, DC, or your local area, they could be calling from anywhere in the world.

File a complaint with the FTC. If you receive a call from someone who claims to be a representative of the government trying to arrange for you to collect supposed sweepstakes winnings, file a complaint at ftc.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP. Your complaint will be most useful to enforcement officials if you include the date and time of the call, the name or phone number of the organization that called you, the FTC employee name that was used, the prize amount, the amount of money requested, the payment method, and any other details.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them.

To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcdfw.com/video.

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Hi! I just wanna share that I received this message on my facebook account... I just wanna confirm if this is fraud/scam or not... Below is the information I received..

Redress Bank and I are exchanging e-mails about how could I claim the prize.



Dear: Rosalinda Hermogeno.

Congratulations on your selection as the winner in the cash splash Promo organized by western union money transfer (UK). We wish to inform you that your prize reward is being processed for payment with our Bank. Redress bank is the Official Paying bank in this years cash splash promotion, Your information's have been received and registered for payment. The prize will be paid to you through the designated Bank in your country.

Our payment process is simple, all you simply need do to receive your prize is provide us with a recent western union receipt issued to you after using western union service. Once we get the receipt we will use it to generate your Ticket Coupon Number and mail you a payment Bank draft to be cashed at a designated payment outlet in your country.

However if you do not have a western union receipt needed to generate your Ticket Coupon Number Kindly inform me so that i can inform you how you can get a western union receipt needed to receive your prize reward.

NOTE: This Offer applies to User(s) and non User(s) of Western union service.

P.S: You will not be required to PAY any fee to receive your prize reward..

Your immediate reply to this email is expected to help us act quickly

Yours faithfully in service

David J. Rugby.

Payment Agent.
Redress Capital Bank Plc®. (Remittance Office)
A member of Redress group® Copyright 2010 Redress Corp®.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTICE: This E-MAIL may contain information that is privileged, confidential, and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution, copying, or use of this document is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us by email at the E-MAlL listed above.

All Rights Reserved | Redress Capital Finance Bank Plc® | 2010

Attn: Liza.
The members of the Facebook Board is pleased to inform you of the results from our just concluded Facebook User Friendly draws in which you have been selected as a beneficiary for a cash prize reward. The selection is Based on User friendly activities on the Facebook Social Network, Such as; Last Login, Profile views, Tags, Winks, Gift, pet, Photo Upload and general overview.

Your Profile account was rated over %85 on user friendly activities which qualifies you to receive our Mega reward sum of 200,000.00 USD (U.S Dollars). To pick up your prize reward contact the: User Friendly Draw Event Manager for direction on how to receive your prize reward in your country. In addition, To register for your reward include the requested personal data.

There is NO COST for claiming your prize reward, To receive the prize reward is FREE!!! NO Charges as all expenses have been covered by the Facebook Team. Your prize reward have been Tagged with your Facebook/WU ID number.

Event Manager: Stephen Covey
Email: stephencovey95 at gmail.com

*FACEBOOK/WU I.D NO: FBK/WU/44347 #(04)
*Name In Full :....................
*Nationality :..................
*Country of Residence :......................
*Phone #/ Tel/ Fax :....................
*Email Address :.....................
*Your Age/Sex :.....................

Have a great time on Facebook!

The Facebook Team #88334.
Supported By Western Union Group.

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