Scam Tag: Lottery & Sweepstakes

In the past few years, you’ve heard warnings from us about different scams that offered prizes like money, jewelry, or vacations – all in exchange for a fee. And we’ve heard from you to the tune of more than a quarter of a million complaints...

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about a sweepstakes scam using the FTC’s name to get people to send money.

Now, there’s another sweepstakes-themed FTC imposter scam, and this one lays it on thick:

It starts with a letter from a...

Here’s a scam with an FTC angle. The letter has an official-looking FTC seal and is signed by “FTC Director” Jessica Rich. It says someone at the FTC will help you claim a cash prize you’ve won, and will help ensure delivery. That is, after you...

For years, we’ve been hearing about lottery scams: the imposter who convinces you that you’ve won the lottery (you didn’t) – and all you have to do is pay some fees to collect your millions (you won’t). And for years, we’ve been hearing about...

Home for the holidays? This year, when you pass the turkey, latkes, or veggies, why not also pass on your knowledge about avoiding scams?  

You know a lot about scams. Sharing what you know can help protect someone who you know from a scam...

Your caller ID says “FTC” or “IRS,” and the phone number has the “202” Washington, DC area code. You might even look the number up and see that it’s a real government phone number.

But the person calling isn’t really from the FTC, IRS, or...

Ring, ring… you get a call from a number starting with area code (876). They call to say you’ve won the “Mega Millions” Jamaican lottery, and you could even win a car! All you have to do is pay a few thousand bucks in taxes or fees, and the big...

You’ve just won $5,000! Or $5 million. Or maybe it’s a fabulous diamond ring, or luxury vacation? More likely, it’s a prize scam, and you’ll find the prize isn’t worth much — if you get a prize at all. Here’s one way to think about it: if you...

Scammers sometimes pretend to be government officials to get you to send them money. They might promise lottery winnings if you pay “taxes” or other fees, or they might threaten you with arrest or a lawsuit if you don’t pay a supposed debt....

At the FTC, we’ve been warning people away from foreign lottery scams for years. So when one of our colleagues recently got an official-looking mailer from Canada, titled “RE: PRIZE WINNING NOTIFICATION,” we turned to our own advice to check it...

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