What new kind of scam is this commercial peddling?

Lately on the Discovery/History type channels I’ve been seeing a series of commercials asking for donations to charity and if you do, you have a chance to win two very expensive cars plus $40,00 for taxes. Then there are a bunch of (usually) old people giving testimony on how they didn’t believe it could be true but they won!

Unlike the other scammy commercials these channels like to run (like non-monastic coins and vitality replacing testoeroni pills) these guys don’t seem to actually give anything. Perhaps a raffle ticket? What is this?

I would stay away from that, I always do my research into any charity organization before giving them my money.

Are these airing late at night? I haven’t seen them, but then again, I don’t watch those channels as much as I used to.

Uh, yeah. Thanks for the heads up.

Mostly late at night but I saw one just before I posted the OP, so they’re sneaking into the daylight.

Here’s one I found on YouTube.

I’m not saying that ad is legit. But it isn’t unusual for a company to donate a prize that is then auctioned off and the proceeds go to a charity. This is the same structure as that.

I did like how the guy starts off by calling it the “first ever dream giveaway,” and then 1:45 later some old guy says, “I won a dream giveaway.”

I would imagine the deception comes from how little New Beginning Children’s Homes actually donates to charity vs. how much they keep and distribute as profit to “TVDreamGarage.com” etc.

I do see that Give.org lists their status as Did not disclose, although I’m not really sure what that means exactly.


I work for a cable network and we received word from our sales team that they had a client who wanted to air a similar spot. They sent it to my department for clearance.

I was covering for my boss (who normally reviews commercials) and I ran it by our legal department, who shot it down flat. They gave me a laundry list of why the spot was denied, which I forwarded to the sales team.

We never heard from them again.

I would never,ever ever pay any attention whatsoever to anything that gives you “a chance to win”. It screams scam. You are not going to win, will be inundated with calls and junk mail, and will be sucked in and under, whether it’s a commercial or a letter from Ed McMahon (may he roast in hell).

The youtube video says it’s from General Tire. They did have a giveaway earlier in the year that you entered by buying tires (see here). In the youtube ad they’re saying you can enter by donating to a charity instead of buying tires. That contest ended earlier in the year and was probably legit.

My June issue of a reputable magazine contained an insert by Dream Giveaway soliciting donations to the New Beginning Children’s Homes. They purportedly are giving away a 2016 Corvette and a 1965 Stingray. It sounded like a worthy cause and they report 100% if the proceeds go to the charity. Fortunately, I decided to do a little research on them before sending them my money. You can check them out on the Center for Investigative Reporting website at http://cironline.org/reports/part-1-dirty-secrets-worst-charities-4603 .

They report Dream Giveaway was founded by a Mark Breiner while he was president of the Kids Wish charity. In 2008 and 2009, Kids Wish paid Dream Giveaway nearly 1.7 million in consulting fees to run automobile giveaways. If this kind of inside dealing is not against the law, it should be. At minimum, it gives more legitimate charities a bad name. Sounds like a charity scam of the worst kind to me.

Testoeroni was one of Chef Boyardee’s less well considered pasta dishes.

While I do think most of them are not produced in an abbey, I think you’re meaning coins that don’t have a face value, but I’m searching for the exact word here – non-numismatic?

“Exonumia,” non-monetary coin-like objects.

Well, if I was running a scam, I’d first register a company it as a 501c.

For a name, I’d choose some convoluted word-jumble that almost sounds like an existing charity or one that might exist. One that preys on the patriotism of people who pay first and think later.
Patriotism, Religion, or pictures of some kid dying always make Cons and Grifting easier.

Then, I’d talk some company into donating a large prize that would seem great to my target audience… one that they’ve jacked up the price on before the donation… like say 100%? One that they can write off fully on their taxes.
I’d then make a hand-shake deal for paying the dealership an “honorarium” for using their name (free TV advertising and money back under the table? What dealer would say no?).

I’d hire a star (who gets payed, but its payment deferred so I can collect the money first to pay them) and talk a TV station into donating their air time. Maybe they’ll donate midnight airtime at prime time rates, because that’s less taxes they have to pay.

I’d make sure it plays between old reruns of popular shows and old movies on later at night… sometime between after the news and just before the bars close for maximum audience participation.
Then, after all the money is collected, I’d pay the stars, cut checks for the [del]kick-back[/del] “honorarium”, carve up 98% of the rest as “fund raising fees” … and mail a check to the charity for the $1.98 left over.

From there, its just a matter of pulling the Bubba’s name out of the hat who gets the prize & tell them they have to pay the tax on it up front to collect it.


They can choose $500 cash instead and the car will go back to the charity. If Bubba signs off, he thinks it goes back to the charity to be raffled again… but that is when I’d stencil the charity’s name on the side and call the truck a ‘company car’ to be used by me for fundraising.

When all the assets are played out, I’d declare the charity insolvent, dissolve the charity, and drive home in my new truck, which was my golden parachute.
(It’d be in specified in my employment contract that if I meet my goals, I’d get to keep my ‘company car’, so it’d look nice and legal.) And when I register it, I’ll show the $500 sale paperwork… so I’ll only pay sales tax on that.
Maybe I’d even pay Earl Scheib to paint it back to a nice sporty color… and while I’m waiting for the paint to dry, I can complain about my taxes and talk-up my favorite candidate in the waiting room.

Then again, I’d make a horrible scam artist, so I’m sure this is all 100% wrong and that there are no Grifters and Con-Men who operate like this in the world…

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