Verizon Warns Consumers of Fraudulent Sweepstakes Improperly Using Verizon Name

NEW YORK - Verizon has alerted law enforcement agencies across the country that scam artists pretending to be affiliated with Verizon, are mailing letters to consumers falsely informing them that that they have won $750,000.

The letters state that to collect the prize, consumers must first pay a $3,200 "processing fee."  Included in each letter is a bogus check for $4,500 to trick consumers into believing that they will be more than reimbursed for the fee.  

The letters state that the check - it misleadingly appears as if it were issued by Verizon - is from the company and that "Verizon Financial" has authorized payment.  However, the bogus checks were not authorized by Verizon and will not be honored by any bank.

Verizon is in no way responsible for these letters and has no connection whatsoever with this phony "sweepstakes."  The letters and promises they make are a fraud designed to trick unwitting consumers into sending money to the unknown parties sending the letters.

The fraudulent letters also instruct consumers to call a "claims agent" to claim the promised $750,000.  This "claims agent" will likely attempt to obtain personal information from the consumer.

Verizon is working with law enforcement agencies to help protect consumers and the company's customers.  Verizon and law enforcement agencies encourage consumers to not attempt to cash the fake $4,500 checks and to not provide any personal information to the "claims agent."

Any consumer who receives one of these letters should report it to the United States Postal Inspection Service, using this link: http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.