Consumer Fraud Reporting
Political Scams: The American Spirit Award
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"The American Spirit Award" - 202-552-1331

Have you received a phone call from someone at 202-552-1331, saying you won the "American Spirit Award" and asking you "to pay $1,000 in two installment to become part of the elite group of the Republican Party". Beware!  Our investigation shows that this is may be a scam.

The contact name given was "Alice Ramy". She claimed to represent "Senator John Enson". Remember that these names may be made up, or them names of real people who are unaffiliated with the scam!

Read below for one person's account and the results of our investigation.


Details of the Suspicious Activity

December 20, 2007:

CFR received the following email:

I received a phone call today at home. The caller left a phone number and told my wife that II have won the American Spirit Award and need to call back in order to get my award certificate faxed to me. As I called back, I was asked to listen to a Senator John Enson message first.

After I listened to the message, an operator came on the line and offered me to pay $1,000 in two installment to become part of the elite group of the Republican Party, with the advantage of participating in the monthly meetings ... etc.

I said I wasn't interested and hang up.  The phone number that was given to us to call is
202-552-1331 and the contact name of the person who had called is Alice Ramy.

I am convinced this is a scam but am not sure where to repost it.

We followed up by calling the number and asking who they were and who they represented.  They were vague, saying "a group of US senators", so we persisted and asked for a specific name.  At that point the man who answers said "John Enson".  We thanked him, hung up, and promptly called the senator's office.

We recited the email above, and the staffer we spoke with said that, to her knowledge, the senator had no affiliation with this group or phone number.  We recommended that the senator's office follow up and bring charges against the group. We also followed up with an email to the senator's office to confirm the details.

If we hear back or any more details, we will post them here.


Recommendations:

If you receive a call from this number or any group that claims to represent a political party or elected official, take down their information, including the contact's name, phone number, etc. Do NOT give them any personal or financial information, especially not a credit card, checking or bank account number, passport number, etc.

Next, look up the direct phone or email address for the person or party they claim to represent and call them , as we did.  Ask them if this group represents them.  In some cases, they may well be legitimate, but you won't know if you don't check on them first.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!


How to Report a Fraudulent Organization or Business Proposal

In the United States contact:

U.S. Secret Service
Financial Crimes Division
1800 G Street, NW
Room 942
Washington, DC 20223

Phone: (202) 4355850

Fax: (202) 4355031

Or contact the local U.S. Secret Service Field Office.

Overseas

Contact the Foreign Commercial Service (FSC) at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If there is no FCS office, contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the Consular Section or the Regional Security Office.

For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.

 


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Names used by scammers in the examples on this page and others often belong to real people and businesses who often have no knowledge of nor connection to the scammer's use of their name and information.  Sample scam emails and other documents are copies of the scam to help potential victims recognize and avoid it.  You should presume that any names used and presented here in a scam are either fictitious or used without their legitimate owner's permission.
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