FBI Targets Bogus $1 Million Oprah Winfrey Giveaway

04/09/2009 at 09:35 AM EDT

FBI Targets Bogus $1 Million Oprah Winfrey Giveaway
Oprah Winfrey
Chris Pizzello/AP
The FBI and Oprah Winfrey herself, through a message on her Web site, are warning fans to beware of scams that fraudulently use the TV queen's name in a fake $1 million giveaway.

Among the latest is the "Oprah Millionaire Contest Show," in which recipients are informed they have been "nominated" to appear on an episode of Winfrey's show where $1 million will be awarded. They are further told they must purchase – from the sender of the message – a transportation ticket to Chicago and pay to get into the show.

One such alleged scammer – apparently, "at least a dozen" exist, according to the Winfrey Web site – lists its return address as "Harpo Productions" at Studio 54 in Seattle. Winfrey's operations, which are indeed called Harpo Productions, are based in Chicago – and its show tickets are free.

The real Harpo Productions has issued a statement emphasizing that the company and the show "are not sponsors nor do we have any involvement whatsoever with this e-mail solicitation."

Individuals who receive such unauthorized solicitations are urged to file a report with the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center, which "accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the person who believes they were defrauded or from a third party to the complainant," says its Web site.

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters