You Can’t Win

an open mailbox with mailIs it your lucky day? If you’ve gotten a call or letter saying you’ve won a big cash prize, and just need to pay a small fee to claim it, maybe not.

The FTC has announced a case against an operation that allegedly sent millions of personalized, professional-looking letters to people saying a cash prize of more than $2 million was reserved, “guaranteed and deliverable,” just for them. All the “winners” had to do was return a form with a $20 or $30 acceptance or registration fee. The letters targeted older people in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and dozens of other countries; altogether, the scam took in more than $9 million from its victims.

But there was no prize, the FTC says. In fact, the hard-to-see fine print said the company doesn’t sponsor sweepstakes or award prizes at all, and is instead in the business of compiling a report of available sweepstakes. But there’s no evidence that people who paid got even that.

Still hoping for your golden ticket? There’s no need to give up sweepstakes altogether. Here’s what you should you know to avoid a prize scam:

You shouldn’t have to pay

Legitimate sweepstakes won’t make you pay money or buy something to enter or improve your chances of winning. That includes paying "taxes" or "shipping and handling charges" to claim a prize.

The prizes aren’t so great

If you do pay to redeem a prize, you’ll find it isn’t worth much or the "vacation" is anything but luxurious. You may end up paying far more than the prize is worth, if you get a prize at all.

Many prize promoters sell the information they collect to advertisers

When you sign up for a contest or drawing at a store, a mall, or another public place or event, instead of a prize, you could get more promotions in the mail, more telemarketing calls, and more spam email. So even if it takes a magnifying glass, read the fine print. That’s often where promoters hide the details about their business practices.

Read Prize Offers for more.

Tagged with: prize, scam, sweepstakes
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

How do I get Pub. Clearing House to stop sending me entries via emails and the games to earn extra chances to win. I've written and asked them to stop but they keep sending them.

I Hear you.....If I never ever entered.....How do they know to inform me....What A bunch of Bull (Frogs)lol

I have loads of this type of mails. I have always ignored them.

I get a letter every week

I also ignor them - I think pub clearing house is the worse.......

I hate these!!! Lucky I have never paid anything, but I just google the copy of the letter and usually find out it's a scam.

Sunday, 9/29/13: I get an average of 3-5 calls per day from foreigner speaking people informing me of an amount of money won. The worst and most persistant (!) is the JM Kingston, phone no. 876-588-1530. They have called me this afternoon (Sunday) about 5-7 times and will not take no for an answer. Just ignore them and eventually they will go away. Meanwhile, I'm rolling in the dough I won:) !!!

Also watch for more 876area code as well as 1-450-369-0985. Out of country / scammers . Spomeone named steven bradberry, Definitely not real name.

Every day, 10-15 times per day around the clock I've been getting calls from what sounds like a Jamaican man telling me I won the National Lottery 3.5 million dollars and a 2013 Mercedes car. Of course I know it's a scam. At first I told them to stop calling, then I started yelling at them and slamming the phone. Months later and they are still calling: 3am 5am 7am 11pm 1am...all hours. The main number they call from is 773-945-5517 "TTSCONSULTING" is on the caller ID. What a nightmare and when will it end? :-(

Moore,Hernandez and Associates LLP
Southhampton NY Supposedly settling claims from an FTC gaming investigation in Florida I don't know anything about this but they want $1000 RETAINER to get $450,000 !!!

My Mom, who is 83, has sent $27,500 (that I know of) to a Jamaican scam and they want $18,000 more. The family is distraught and have finally been pushed into filing for guardianship... Is there anything the FTC can do to protect our vulnerable senior citizens? All advice thus far is that, "She's over 21 and can do whatever she wants with her money." I realize that, but is she protected from them getting their hands on her Social Security? I feel so helpless...

Have the phone carrier block specific numbers. Block all international numbers. Block all 876 numbers. Just keep insisting with your carrier and they will do it. Call the U.S. Postal Inspection service and they will block that 876 number from calling "any" U.S. number. Call Social Security to ask how to protect her SS check (it is not yet protected). Have your family member tested for dementia. Yes. Dementia. Change her number to unlisted. Get her a cell phone on your family plan with parental controls.

My friend was called by a James Richman at 876-473-8525 saying she'd won a lot of money and a new BMW. In order to get the BMW delivered, she needed to send $3,800 cash to a Brooklyn, NY address. She was gullible and did this. We tried to get the P.O. to intercept the package and faxed the post office in Brooklyn - but they delivered the package anyway. My poor friend has also received calls from Jeff Sanchez at 646-289-8430 and a Jack Peterson at 202-509-0683 all asking for money in order to receive her winnings. I'm trying to help her realize these are scams.

I received a call today from a John Berry, but first he said his name was John Washington, he said they had been trying to get a hold of me by mail. I had a check from Publishers Cl. House for 5.5 million. They wanted to deliver it today.All I needed to do was go and get a green dot moneypack scratchcard for $999.00 to cover the registration fee... When I kept questioning him he got flustered and hung up... the call was from Jamacia 876-422-2437.

The SAME thing happened to my Grampa yesterday!! The phone number was 516-515-6165, reverse says NY, Nassau, Bahamas. Fortunately I got on the phone with "JOHN" and grilled him of WHY he's requesting $, I'll give it to them when they deliver the car. I told him a thing or two before he "accidentally? hung up on me.
Even after that...Get this, the SAME GUY called Grampa AGAIN today saying "I really don't want you to miss out on this", (this being a check for $2.5mill and a new Mercedes which he said ALL DAY LONG yesterday "it's on it's way now").
Disgusted!!!

I received a call from Consumer's Union saying I won second prize of $500,000. They wanted to know when I would be home to deliver the check by International courier Express. They asked some non-specific questions then turned it over to an "attorney" Matthew Harvey. He then told me he works with HSBC Bank for the taxes on my winnings and needs a minimum of $2,000 from my bank. He will call back in 30 minutes to get the information and I am to wire it to him. I am NOT doing anything like that. Instead I am trying to warn other people of this scam.

My husband has gotten ALL of those SCAM CALLS.If he got ALL the "MONEY" he "WON" ,we would be Billionaires! Plus,we would have 5 Mercedes in the yard!It is sooooo hard to convince him that they are SCAMS. THANKS FOR ALL THE INPUT FROM ALL OF YOU. Now,if I can get HIM to read this page ,MAYBE it will SINK IN !! Wish me luck!

If you get a call or text from (623)-738-5759 ignore it, he says he's from the US Empowerment group and you've been chosen to receive a check for $50,000.00. He will give you an address near you of a check cashing place where you will be told to send $975.00 in order to collect your "winnings". Do not fall for this scam. He will already know your address, phone number and email. Report him right away to consumer fraud. I tried to call the police and they were no help at all.

I was wondering who do I report to about scams call my house?
Kingston JM 1-876-434-1303 keeps calling my house. Saying I won money as a sweepstakes knowing I didn't enter in anything.

First they said they were the mega millions. I called bull on that. then I made them put me though the manger and he said he was pch (publishers clearing house) still called bull. I told them I was going to report them if they keep calling.
I ask what they want and that I am not stupid I know what they are trying to get. I heard kids in the background. I had them tell me that there was nothing I can do and that they want my money. So try and report us.

I even ask where they are calling from nigeria. Not in the sates like the mega millions and pch are from.

So I need help.... thanks

You can file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Watch this video to learn more about how to report a scam to the FTC and why it matters.

Just got a scam about a lottery on facebook and my username ask for my info and I gave it to them they were pretending to be one of my facebook friends. Saying that she won a facebook lottery pls post this do no one else will give out their info. Just got had!

Just got a letter saying that I came in 2nd place thing for it It had a check in itfor some drawing and that this firm would handle everything for couple of thousand dollars with my name o . Now their not asking for any money up front the checkis supposed to pay for the proce ssing fee some mail courier is supposed to deliver my check now the check looks really real just don't know if its true!!!!!!!!! I TOOK THE CHECK TO THE BANK and had them look at it to see if was real they were unsure so don't know how to see if its a scam or real

The article Fake Checks provides advice on how to recognize a fake check scam. It can be really hard to tell if a check is a forgery and it can take weeks to be discovered and untangled. Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check have been deposited into your account, you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check.

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