ABC News
  • How The Make A Wish Fraud Works

    Patricia Bowles of Virginia lost more than $300,000 to a sweepstakes scam before she learned the callers were never going to deliver on their promise of a $1.1 million check. She sent the money to the scammers believing she was paying insurance and taxes in advance on her imaginary winnings.
    ABC News
  • How The Make A Wish Fraud Works

    When Sandra Haynes of Texas told scammers she could not send them any more money, they tricked her into becoming a jumper. The scammers would have other victims send their money to Haynes, and then Haynes would wire the money to Costa Rica.
    ABC News
  • How The Make A Wish Fraud Works

    Scammers set up their boiler rooms in heavily fortified homes, often in the remote hillside suburbs of San Jose, the Costa Rican capital, so they could detect police or other unwanted visitors.
    United States Postal Inspection Service
  • How The Make A Wish Fraud Works

    Most of the illegal call centers were surrounded by high fences and razor wire.
    United States Postal Inspection Service
  • How The Make A Wish Fraud Works

    One group of scammers, run by convicted fraudster David Hennessey, set up shop in this luxury home in a high-end neighborhood of Costa Rica?s capital.
    United States Postal Inspection Service
  • How The Make A Wish Fraud Works

    When Costa Rican police raided more than a dozen of the boiler rooms in 2006, they found scores of phones, each of them labeled so scammers could answer as if they worked at a federal agency.
    United States Postal Inspection Service
  • How The Make A Wish Fraud Works

    Scammers find their victims using what police call "hand writes," contest entry forms sent in to "lead" brokers and then sold to scammers for up to $4 per name. The scammers tell the people whose names are listed on the "leads" that they are sweepstakes winners, and then try to convince them to forward tax and insurance money in order to receive their phony prizes.
    United States Postal Inspection Service
  • How The Make A Wish Fraud Works

    "Everyone in Costa Rica has a gun," fugitive Roberto Fields Curtis told Brian Ross. Police found these handguns when they raided a sweepstakes boiler room in 2006.
    United States Postal Inspection Service
  • How The Make A Wish Fraud Works

    Police say scammers keep careful track of how much money they are bringing in at any given moment. Here they chronicle payments in increments of $1,000, $2,000, $5,000 and $10,000.
    United States Postal Inspection Service
  • How The Make A Wish Fraud Works

    When police raided one Costa Rican boiler room, they found signs posted with contact numbers and addresses for such bogus federal agencies as the "Lottery and Sweepstakes Claims Bureau." The bogus address, 2700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., is actually the Rock Creek Bridge.
    United States Postal Inspection Service
  • How The Make A Wish Fraud Works

    This chart posted at a boiler room in Costa Rica identifies bogus numbers for companies such as Lloyds of London that factor into the scams. The scammers tell victims that they need to insure their winnings with Lloyds before the money can be delivered, and they also provide a phone number for Lloyds that the victim can call
    United States Postal Inspection Service
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
See It, Share It
PHOTO: A home damaged by a landslide Friday, April 18, 2014 in Jackson, Wyo. is shown in this aerial image provided by Tributary Environmental.
Tributary Environmental/AP Photo
null
Danny Martindale/Getty Images
PHOTO: Woman who received lab-grown vagina says she now has normal life.
Metropolitan Autonomous University and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine