I am a retired civil service employee who for the past few weeks has been engaged in telephone conversations on a daily basis with assorted individuals who notified me that I was a "senior sweepstakes winner." I apparently had won various amounts from two or three to ten million dollars, which changed all the time, and an expensive imported foreign car, with a different make and model depending upon with whom I was speaking.
My modus operandi in dealing with these parties is to keep them busy for a certain period of time each day in endless and largely meaningless chatter. I have the benefit of having been a seasoned negotiator of union contracts, as a national representation of federal employeess. In this capacity I engaged in stalling on an issue to tire the other side to prevent implimentation of something, found fatigue to be effective in getting the other side to agree, engaging in surface bargaining, or if I could, getting the other side to negotiate against themselves.
Apparently someone entered their name, but mistakenly furnished my telephone number. I established a ficticious age and address, which has shown up later in other offers involving social security, life insurance, and health supplies for my diabetic condition, which I do not have. If someone questioned if this was my real name, given calleer id, I said that I was using my roommate's telephone.
My modus operati is to keep them busy for a certain period of time each day in endless chatter. Requesting to be put on a "no-call" list does not seem to be effective.
The person who called had me get a pen and paper in order to take down my official "Winning Control Number," and a few other numbes necessary for procesing the prize.
In general I am told that to receive my prize it would be necessary to purchase a three to five hundred ($300 to $500) gift card from the local pharmacy or big box retailer to receive it. Sometimes the amount increased to three cards at five hundred dollars each. On another occasion the amount increased to $1622.00. Payment of these sums was necessary I was told was to obtain a release, pay taxes, or purchase a custom’s stamp for the car (?). I have never been given a clear explanation as to what this charge is for, which goes under different name.
I always agreed to do so right away, and asked for a telephone number in the event something came up at the store buying the gift card, and I needed help, and to let them know of my return.
I have acquired eight to ten telephone numbers with whom I talk on almost a daily basis, trying to work out the details of getting my prize. If no one answered, I left a message, and would try again later. On occasion these calls with the “processing center” have lasted almost an hour in duration, conversing with occasionally with upper management personnel persuading me to comply with their requirements.
I was furnished with an address in South Carolina and instructed to go to the US Post Office to express mail the gift cards. I notified the prize processing center that when I explained to the postal clerk why I needed to send the girt cards express mail, that she refused to do so. I was severely scolded for discussing anything about my prize with anyone. I notified the police department in the city.
I was then told to go to a UPS store and send it that way. I told them that when I said that I wanted to send money the UPS clerk told me that was not allowed. Once again I was severely scolded for discussing my affairs.
I have had endless conversations inquiring why I simply could not pay by check, maintaining that is how I pay all of my other bills. The processing center says this is not allowed. I have maintained that gift cards are for gifts, such as for a birthday, graduation, or at Christmas.
On occasion I have been asked for my email address, but they do not seem to be too intested in communicating that way. I simply say that I do not use that method much.
On many occasions it is requested that I take a photo of my gift card and send it to them. I simply state that I do not know how to do that, and do not use my cell phone much.
I have also had endless conversations asking if it was a tax that had to be paid, why could I not just go to the IRS office in the local federal office building, or customs office to pay charges for the car. I have also been asking why taxes had to be paid now in June, when everyone pays their taxes in April.
I am always and repeatedly asked to read the numbers of the gift cards that I have allegedly purchased. I have maintained consistently that this was a waste of time since I had to give them to someone in order to use them. I have suggested on multiple times that I will wait at 2:00 PM for them to send a messenger to pick them up, and to give me a cashier's check. I have been told that they cannot give me the full amount of my prize at once, but only in increments. Needless to say, no messengers have ever come to my home, or at least where they think it is. I have said that I will gladly pay for having a courier take the gilt cards, and give me a check in return.
I have been told several times that unless I read the numbers on the gift cards, and my prize would be cancelled. I have simply declared firmly that this could not be done. Once in a while the personnel at the prize center got upset with me, but I would apologize and say that I simply wanted help, and needed the money.
I have learned not to ask too many questions at first, or for a telephone number, since the party will abruptly hang up. The processing center personnel can be persistent, even calling on weekends. I spent almost all morning this past Saturday on the telephone discussing a mutually agreeable arrangement, which we never arrived at.
I am not certain If I have accomplished much in the way of puttting these criminals out of business, however, if others read this narrative, they won't get scammed, and perhaps I can persuade the appropriate authorities to take whatever actions are possible to bring an end to this nefarious activity.
(312) 842-5036 office, (312) 714-7790 cell