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 !!!

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