Watch out for fake Reader's Digest sweepstakes scam, warns Better Business Bureau

From staff reports:

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a scam circulating Washington.

A fake Reader's Digest Sweepstakes letter notifying recipients that they have won a sweepstakes appears to have ties to Washington. The letter features a fax number with a Washington area code and comes in an envelope postmarked in Seattle. It has no return address and the call-back number is a British Columbia number.

Reader's Digest does have a real sweepstakes, but this letter is not part of that sweepstakes. The BBB recommends customers call Reader's Digest's customer service number, (800) 310-2181, if they receive a letter that appears to have been sent by the company.

It also reminds consumers that scam artists will sometimes use well-known business logos, or even the BBB's logo, in an attempt to make their mailings appear authentic. The BBB suggests never forwarding money, in any form, or giving out bank or credit card information in response to letters or calls stating the consumer has won something.

Legitimate sweepstakes will take out fees before the winnings are dispersed. Taxes will be filed with tax returns.

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