If you’ve received the good news that you’ve won a giveaway or a letter saying that you’ve won millions in a sweepstakes or lottery, and there is a check or money order enclosed as part of your winnings. All you need to do to get the rest is send money to pay the taxes. Is this your lucky day? Most Likely Not. It’s a fake sweepstakes scam that will cost you thousands unless you know the danger signs.
Learn to spot the warning signs by familiarizing yourself with these common sweepstakes scam signs.
1. You Have To Pay To Receive Your Prize – If you ever need to pay to receive your prize in a sweepstakes situation, then you know what you have before you is a fake sweepstakes. Many scam artists try to get people’s personal information with this scam. Don’t fall for it!
2. You Win Something You Don’t Remember Signing Up For – You get a call or an email saying you won a prize from so-and-so company, but the problem is that you don’t remember signing up for the sweepstakes in the first place. Well, if you don’t remember signing up, that’s a tip that you have a fake sweepstakes on your hands.
3. They Pressure You And Force You To Act Quickly – Fake sweepstakes usually have a “hurry-up” attitude about them. They want you to send your information RIGHT AWAY, they want you to pick up your prize RIGHT AWAY, and they want you to call them back RIGHT AWAY. If anyone pressures you or hurries you along, you can discern that what you are dealing with is probably a fake sweepstakes.
4. They Don’t Know Your Actual Name – Many scam artists will give you a call, send you an email, or mail you a letter that is addressed in a general way, such as referring to Sir, Mrs., Mr., Madam, etc. If you receive a call, email, or letter saying that you won a prize, but the person telling you that you won doesn’t even know your name, you can make the assumption that this is a fake sweepstakes you are dealing with.
5. A Check Sent To You With The Word “Winner” On It – Lately, a lot of fake sweepstakes have been sending out checks that say “winner” on the front. If you get one of these so-called checks, you can almost guarantee that you are dealing with a sweepstakes scam. Remember not to cash this so-called check, or you could get into legal trouble.
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