CFPB Update: Notice of Possible 'Sweepstakes' Scam

Posted by Marissa Anema Wednesday, June 13, 2012 11:30:00 AM


The CFPB’s Chris Wiley, Chief Information Officer, announced yesterday that last month the CFPB told consumers about a possible sweepstakes scam and while the CFPB continues to investigate, the bureau wanted to update consumers about a new twist.

Originally, the CFPB learned of:

“…phone calls about a sweepstakes offer from the CFPB. The CFPB did not make these calls or direct others to make these phone calls on our behalf. These phone calls may be malicious. To minimize the risk this type of call may present, we suggest if you receive such a call you do not provide any personal, consumer, or commercial information.”

According to tips from alert consumers, callers are now saying they will send checks worth up to $1.5 million, if the consumer will pay “taxes” to the caller. If the consumer says they can’t or won’t pay the taxes, the caller will offer to find a “sponsor” to pay the taxes. None of this is true. 

The CFPB does not host sweepstakes and will never ask you to send the bureau money in exchange for sending you money in return.  A popular model for scams is to trick the intended victim into cashing a fraudulent check in order to send a portion to a scammer. The CFPB continues to stress that consumers should not provide any personal, consumer, or commercial information to the caller. 

The bureau is asking consumers, “if you receive suspicious calls related to the CFPB, please call the CFPB directly at (855) 411-CFPB.” 

Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:


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