Fraudulent Sweepstakes Alert
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America has urgently renewed a nationwide scam alert warning individuals not to believe anyone calling their homes and posing as federal employees demanding advance payment of taxes on fictitious sweepstakes prizes supposedly awarded by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
A number of individuals have reported to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America that they, or a family member or a friend, have received a phone call informing them they have allegedly won hundreds of thousands of dollars (e.g., $350,000) in a sweepstakes or lottery associated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. These individuals have been told that, in order to claim their "prize," they must first wire money to cover taxes, insurance and courier services on the supposed winnings.
This is a scam. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is NOT associated with any kind of sweepstakes or lottery; and it has always had a strict policy prohibiting telemarketing in its name to raise money.
If you receive a fraudulent Make-A-Wish Foundation sweepstakes call, please contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint at ftc.gov or by calling 1.877.FTC.HELP.
"Unlimited Wishes" internet video is not true
The Make-A-Wish Foundation has received inquiries from supporters about an internet video that depicts a fictional news broadcast, Today Now! The video includes a report about a child whose wish for unlimited wishes has put the Make-A-Wish Foundation's future in jeopardy.
The Today Now! segment is not true and all characters, including wish child "Chad," are fictitious. The video was producted by The Onion, which is well-known for using satire to parody news events. Rest assured, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is financially sound thanks to its many generous donors. Also, the Foundation will not grant "unlimited wishes" to a child. The policy is clear: We grant the one true wish of each eligible child with a life-threatening medical condition. Please refer anyone with questions about the video to this web page.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation does not participate in chain letters
The Make-A-Wish Foundation often receives inquiries about chain letters that feature ill children and claim to be associated with the Foundation. However, we do not participate in these kinds of wishes. Some names associated with these chain letters are:
Amy Bruce; Jeff DeLeon; Rhyan Desquetado; LaNisha Jackson; Nikisha Johnson; Jessie Anderson; Kayla Wightman; Craig Shergold; Craig Sheldon; Craig Sheppard; Craig Shelton; Craig Shelford; Anthony Hebrank; Chad Briody; and Bryan Warner.
If you receive a chain letter claiming ties to the Foundation, please:
Examples of false chain letters currently circulating include:
Only one of these requests is based in fact: In 1989, then 9-year-old Craig Shergold wanted to be recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records for receiving the most greeting cards. His wish was fulfilled in 1990 by another wish-granting organization not associated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation does not telemarket
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island does not, under any circumstances, engage telemarketers to raise money, despite sometimes being confused with other organizations that do. In fact, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has a nationwide policy against telephone and door-to-door solicitation. There are a number of other sound-alike organizations – some also with "wish" in their names. The Make-A-Wish Foundation has no affiliation with any other wish-granting organization. If you receive a call from someone asking for a donation, ask the caller to send you more information.