I received a phone call on my home phone that stated that Tony from (inaudible) was calling, I had won a prize in a sweepstakes, that I had, or someone had filled out a sweepstakes form in the last 12-18 months with my name on it, and I had definitely won a prize, please call them back at 1-866-601-8851, extension 2001.
Out of curiosity, I called the phone number. Extension 2001 did not exist, so I pressed "0" when it prompted me for the extension, which got a receptionist who answered the phone "Prize Fulfillment Center". The receptionist said Tony wasn't there, and put a guy on the phone who said his name was John Watts, and mentioned in passing that it was his company. He sounded slightly Hispanic, she sounded African American, by their accents. Mr. Watts (if that is really his name) said that I had, or someone had, filled out a sweepstakes form in my name in the last 12-18 months, and I was most definitely a winner of one of the following 4 prizes: a) a new Lincoln Navigator, or $45,000 in cash, b) $2500 in cash, c) a free trip to either Mexico, Las Vegas, or Orlando, for 3 nights and 2 days, round trip, for 2 people, or d) a 32" flat screen TV. I mentioned I did not like Las Vegas or Orlando, he said there is Mexico.
He said that the form had me listed as married (I am not), between 28 and 65, and earning more than $45K a year. I told him I did not recall filling out the sweepstakes form, and that I am not married, and had not been in some time. This did not bother him, he said you just need to fill out the corrected form when you come in, and it has to match. He said you need to come into their office at 575 Anton, Floor 3, in Costa Mesa, on Saturday September 12 at 2PM to collect the prize.
He said it is NOT a time share, no purchase required, but they are having a celebration of opening their new travel agency, and doing this promotion is cheaper than buying commercials. He said if you win the car, you have to agree to be part of their promotions. I said, what if you win one of the other prizes? He said, no obligation there. He said 12 people had been selected to come to the opening celebration, and all 12 had each won one of the 4 gifts above. He said his (John Watts') personal extension was 1-866-601-8851 x 1028.
I asked if there was anything else I needed to know. He said bring 2 forms of ID with you, and show up before 2PM, maybe at 1:55 or so, otherwise you cannot claim your prize. I said, re the ID, a driver's license and a passport? He said no, we want a driver's license and a credit card, because they want to make sure you are the type that can pay for travel. I said, why not a passport, that proves I travel. He said, we don't take your credit card information, just wave it at us, to show you have it. (note: perhaps they have an RFID scanner?).
I asked if there was anything else. He said do not bring any children or guests to this event. He again wanted to be sure that my income was above $45K a year, because they "need to make sure you can pay the taxes on the car, if you win it". I said what if you take the cash, instead of the car? He said, yes, you can take the cash, instead of the car.
I'm tempted to go there an hour early, put my credit cards and driver's license in an RFID-shielded pocket, bring a camera, and take a pocketknife with me, in case I need it. The idea would be to take their picture if they give me any trouble.
Does anyone have any advice? Is this the same scam as Discount Global Travel? The address appears to be similar.