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FBI warns of Oprah spam scam

Oprah Winfrey has been generous with her studio audiences, including the famed day when she pointed to everyone there and proclaimed, “You’re getting a car!”

But she’s not giving away $1 million, despite a spam e-mail making the rounds. The FBI has issued a warning that the “Oprah Millionaire Contest Show” e-mail is a scam.

The message says the recipient has been nominated to be on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” during which a winner of the cash will be named. Then it asks the “nominee” for contact information.

Those “chosen” for the show (probably anyone who responds to the e-mail) are told that the next step is to buy an airline or train ticket to Chicago for the program. They even have to pay to get into the show.

Of course, the senders of the e-mail say to send the money for the travel and show tickets to them. (See a copy of the offending message at the scam-busting website Snopes.com.)

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Oprah.com, the official website of Winfrey’s media empire, has posted a warning that there are several “sweepstakes scams” concerning the show, and that no such program is scheduled.

Besides, although tickets to the show are tough to get, they’re free.

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david.colker@latimes.com


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