CANADA (OCN) — Willington Pierce Brothers claims you are a “guaranteed cash award recipient” and the grand award recipient will receive US$10,000. Will you ever see it? You will most like help them make that amount of money and more by falling victim to their scam.
Willington Pierce Brothers
International Cash Payment Centre
3219 Yonge Street
Box No. 415
Canada M4N 3S1
Advanced Financial Services
Center for International Disbursements, Office of the Treasurer
Divison of Allocations & Fulfillment
Feeder & Brothers Partnership
Goode Walker & Company
Harris & Witherspoon
International Auto Distributors
International Cash Payment Centre
MMA World Headquarters
Net Direct Electronics
Special thanks to our many readers who reported this after seeing our article on the Monetary Control Office. Further research reveals that this is an old scam with a new twist. The Willington Pierce Brothers scam first showed its ugly head as the Harris & Witherspoon scam. Also, the scammers are using the address at a UPS Store. If you are in the Canada area, you may want to give them a heads up.
The next time you receive a letter, keep these tips in mind.
- Legitimate sweepstakes don’t require you to pay or buy something to enter or improve your chances of winning, or to pay “taxes” or “shipping and handling charges” to get your prize. If you have to pay to receive your “prize,” it’s not a prize at all.
- Sponsors of legitimate contests identify themselves prominently; fraudulent promoters are more likely to downplay their identities. Legitimate promoters also provide you with an address or toll-free phone numbers so you can ask that your name be removed from their mailing list.
- Bona fide offers clearly disclose the terms and conditions of the promotion in plain English, including rules, entry procedures, and usually, the odds of winning.
- It’s highly unlikely that you’ve won a “big” prize if your notification was mailed by bulk rate. Check the postmark on the envelope or postcard. Also be suspicious of telemarketers who say you’ve won a contest you can’t remember entering.
- Fraudulent promoters might instruct you to send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier to enter a contest or claim your “prize.” This is a favorite ploy for con artists because it lets them take your money fast, before you realize you’ve been cheated.
- Disreputable companies sometimes use a variation of an official or nationally recognized name to give you confidence in their offers. Don’t be deceived by these “look-alikes.” It’s illegal for a promoter to misrepresent an affiliation with — or an endorsement by — a government agency or other well-known organization.
- It’s important to read any written solicitation you receive carefully. Pay particularly close attention to the fine print. Remember the old adage that “the devil is in the details.”
- Agreeing to attend a sales meeting just to win an “expensive” prize is likely to subject you to a high-pressure sales pitch.
- Signing up for a sweepstakes at a public location or event, through a publication or online might subject you to unscrupulous prize promotion tactics. You also might run the risk of having your personal information sold or shared with other marketers who later deluge you with offers and advertising.
- Some contest promoters use a toll-free “800″ number that directs you to dial a pay-per-call “900″ number. Charges for calls to “900″ numbers may be very high.
- Disclosing your checking account or credit card account number over the phone in response to a sweepstakes promotion — or for any reason other than to buy the product or service being sold — is a sure-fire way to get scammed in the future.
- Your local Better Business Bureau and your state or local consumer protection office can help you check out a sweepstakes promoter’s reputation. Be aware, however, that many questionable prize promotion companies don’t stay in one place long enough to establish a track record, and the absence of complaints doesn’t necessarily mean the offer is legitimate.
If you have additional info to add, please share it with us and we will add them to the growing list. Your personal information will not be saved or revealed and tips could be a benefit to others as this is now for you.