E-mail this page E-mail this



Oprah Millionaire Contest Show

Scam:   "Oprah Millionaire Contest Show" e-mails solicit personal information for non-existent contest.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2009]

The Oprah Winfrey Show
Harpo Productions, Inc.
Oprah Millionaire Contest Show 2009
STUDIO54: 3215 E. Madison, Seattle, WA 98112

We know the bad news: layoffs, foreclosures, banks teetering on collapse. Yet people are finding creative ways to help their neighbors, and themselves. We'll show you how you can do the same.

Oprah Millionaire Contest Show

Step: One {1}
We are delighted to inform you of your nomination for The Oprah Winfrey Show-Empower Yourself - Oprah Millionaire Contest Show, which was fully an electronically based selection of nominees using their e-Mail Identification module from the IRS data base and AT&T data base of all United States e-Mail service providers in association with National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Step: Two {2}
Do e-Mail our online desk or Fax: 206-426-5487 the information below:—

Personal e-Mail I.D:
Full Name {as it registered on your I.D}:
Full Home Address:
Home Telephone Number:
Home Telephone Service Provider Name:
Cell Phone Number {Optional}:
Cell Phone Service Provider Name:
Fax Number {if there is any}:
Age:

Step: Three {3}
All electronically selected nominees will be sent the NOMINEE REGISTRATION FORM to be fill and sent back to via e-Mail attachment or fax the completed form to: 206-426-5487.

Step Four {4}
All the nominee registration forms will be compiled, electronically screened and verified by ALEXANDER FORBES Inc., who will conduct an electronic raffle draw that will produce the top 20 nominees to be confirmed as contestants to participate at the Seattle Studio54 - Oprah Millionaire Contest Show 2009.

Step Five {5}
All the successfully nominated 20 contestants will be sent a NOMINATION POSTAL NOTIFICATION via postal mail to the nominee's home address and upon receipt of the postal mail you will be notified of the contestant confirmation payment instructions for the 20 lucky contestants to be able to participate and come along with their one nominated attendee to the contest.

Step: Six {6}
Upon contestant confirmation, you will be sent the contestant's Standard Express Parcel via express courier containing the Oprah Millionaire Contest Show Plastic Laminated Contestant Identification Tag; Two {2} Oprah Winfrey Show - Single Entry Tickets; Two {2} Ways - American Airlines Air Ticket or Train Tickets Booklet; Air Port or Train Station Taxi Pick Up & Drop Off Receipt Slips and Itinerary Drive Map Plan attached with the contest information that you will need to know.

Step: Seven {7}
May 9Th, 2009 all the contestants will attend the ABC Nationally televised Oprah Millionaire Contest Show 2009 on which you will be ask to answer Ten {10} selected Current Affairs Questions accurately, which will give all the 20 contestants, who will be subsequently divided into 4 segments from each segment one contestant will have the chance to answer those Current Affairs Questions accurately and exact to win his or her self One Million Dollars at The Oprah Millionaire Contest Show 2009.

Step: Eight {8}
One Million Dollars check will be handed over to each of the four {4} winners from the four {4} segments of the Oprah Millionaire Contest Show 2009.

This contest is promoted and sponsored by Harpo Productions, Inc., ABC Network., Money Gram Inc., America Airlines, Hertz and AT&T, as part of their social responsibility to the Public.

OPRAH is a registered trademark of Harpo, Inc. All rights reserved. For full list of trademarks,
© 2009 Harpo Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
 

Origins:   This unlikely attempt to part folks from their money began arriving in inboxes everywhere in mid-March 2009. There is no "Oprah Millionaire Contest Show": while the name of one of television's most beloved personalities is invoked in this attempt to defraud and address boilerplate about her show is included in the pitch to make it look legitimate, it's all as phony as a $3 bill.

While the later version of the e-mail (see example quoted above) gives little clue as to the nature of the boondoggle, an earlier version is fairly transparent about it:
Step: Three {3}
All the electronically selected participants will have to go through the organizers e-verifications process and every successfully verified contestant will be required to purchase The Oprah Winfrey Show Ticket, Air Ticket {Train Ticket} Fare and Air Port Taxi Pick up Fare.
More simply, those who fall for the claim they're "electronically selected nominees" and respond with their personal information to the soliciting
e-mail will then be asked to fork over a sum of money to those running the con, supposedly for their tickets to the show, travel to and from Chicago, and transfers while in the windy city. There is no special show for them to be on, no big prize for them to win; all that is but a mirage huge shimmeringly in front of them to keep them from seeing that they're being taken.

The earlier version of the scam makes it appear to those about to be gulled that they've a real chance of winning a million dollars since they are to supply ten questions about themselves which they will then have to answer correctly while on the show. (The later version of the scam changes that requirement to their having to supply answers to ten "selected Current Affairs Questions.")
Step: Four {4}
Every successfully selected contester will be sent the contester standard Express Parcel containing the Oprah Millionaire Contest Show Form - With Ten {10} Personal Questions About Yourself To Answer Accurately, Oprah Winfrey Show Ticket Booklet, Two {2} Ways - Air Ticket {Train Ticket} Booklet, Air Port {Train Station} Taxi Pick Up Receipt Slip and Itinerary Drive Map Plan attached with the contest information that you will need to know.

Step: Five {5}
April 15Th, 2009 all the contesters will attend the NBC Nationally televised Oprah Winfrey Show on which you will be ask to answer all the Ten {10} Personal Questions About yourself accurately, which will give all the contesters a chance to answer those personal questions accurately and exact to win yourself a million dollars at The Oprah Winfrey Show - Oprah Millionaire Contest Show.
As to what the folks at Oprah.com have to say about these fraud attempts:
Questions About Sweepstakes Scams

The Oprah Winfrey Show and Harpo Productions are warning viewers about a recent e-mail scam notifying recipients of their nomination for the "Oprah Millionaire Contest Show." Please note that The Oprah Winfrey Show and Harpo Productions are not sponsors nor do we have any involvement whatsoever with this email solicitation. Individuals who receive such unauthorized e-mails are encouraged to file a complaint with the F.B.I. at www.ic3.gov.

Authorities have told us that there are at least a dozen scams currently being perpetrated which promise tickets, travel and money from The Oprah Winfrey Show. You should know that Harpo never sells tickets or travel packages. You can click here for specific Harpo ticket information.

Please be advised that anyone who has received a letter accompanied by a check announcing that the recipient is a winner in "The Oprah Show Summer Sweepstakes" should be aware that this letter is part of a recent scam and that the check is a counterfeit. While there was a "Summer Sweepstakes" in 2006, there was already a winner selected and the prize was claimed.

We encourage anyone who receives a letter, e-mail or phone call claiming that they are the winner of a sweepstakes that uses Harpo or Ms. Winfrey's name or likeness to verify its authenticity before taking any action. All official Harpo-related sweepstakes notifications will contain contact information through which its validity can be confirmed. Harpo also does not ask you to pay to either enter a sweepstakes or collect tickets, nor do we send unsolicited checks in the mail. If Harpo ever sponsors any kind of sweepstakes, it will be featured on Oprah.com — so always check our website to confirm if an offer is the real thing.
Also:
Questions About Sweepstakes Scams

Authorities have told us that there are at least a dozen scams currently being perpetrated which promise tickets, travel and money from The Oprah Show. You should know that Harpo never sells tickets or travel packages and you can click here for specific Harpo ticket information. Harpo also does not ask you to pay to either enter a sweepstakes or collect tickets, nor do we send unsolicited checks in the mail. If Harpo ever sponsors any kind of sweepstakes, it will be featured on Oprah.com—so always check our website to confirm if an offer is the real thing.

Please be advised that anyone who has received a letter accompanied by a check announcing that the recipient is a winner in "The Oprah Show Summer Sweepstakes" should be aware that this letter is part of a recent scam and that the check is a counterfeit. While there was a "Summer Sweepstakes" in 2006, there was already a winner selected and the prize was claimed.

We encourage anyone who receives a letter, e-mail or phone call claiming that they are the winner of a sweepstakes which uses Harpo or Ms. Winfrey's name or likeness, to verify its authenticity before taking any action. All official Harpo-related sweepstakes notifications will contain contact information through which its validity can be confirmed.
Barbara "contested facts" Mikkelson

Last updated:   8 April 2009

Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2014 by snopes.com.
This material may not be reproduced without permission.
snopes and the snopes.com logo are registered service marks of snopes.com.

Sources:

    Colker, David.   "Oprah Winfrey Isn't Giving Away $1 Million."
    Los Angeles Times.   8 April 2009.