New scam involving multimillion-dollar prize draw circulates in Ontario


Published May 23, 2024 at 9:58 am

readers digest scam ontario

At least one person has fallen victim to a sweepstakes scam in Ontario.

An Ontario resident reported losing $900 in a new scam where the fraudster claims to be from the Readers Digest Sweepstakes, OPP said in a press release on May 22.

The scam took place between May 14 and 17 in Tillsonburg, a small town near London, Ontario.

The Readers Digest Sweepstakes is a real contest, which has been around for many years.

But in this case, the victim got a phone call from a person claiming to be with the Readers Digest Sweepstakes, OPP said.

The caller told the victim they had won the $5 million grand prize, $250,000 cash and a 2024 pickup truck, police said.

The caller then asked the victim to purchase a prepaid Mastercard to cover the tax before receiving the prize.

When the victim questioned the legitimacy of the sweepstakes, the caller emailed documents to try and support the scam.

The victim lost approximately $900 to the scammer, police said.

Reader’s Digest is aware of scams and says they will never ask for money to pay taxes on a win.

“Unlike others, who try to deceive, you will never be asked for money to enter Sweepstakes or to win or receive any prizes. It is important that you stay vigilant about the possibility of being scammed,” Reader’s Digest writes on the website. 

The OPP adds that any legitimate business, charity or organization will not ask for payment in gift cards.

Police say people should not be embarrassed if they are a victim of fraud.

People can learn more about how to protect themselves on the Ontario government website here, or on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.

Lead photo: sabinevanerp

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