How To Identify Sweepstakes Scams
You may receive news that you just won a million dollars worth of money from a sweepstakes raffle, but do you know how to identify sweepstakes scams? This kind of news sounds too good to be true, but it might be. There is a growing fraudulent business in sweepstakes scams and more people are falling for this kind of fraud. Here are ways to identify sweepstakes scams to avoid falling for this fraudulent bait.
- Scrutinize the background and profile of the company sending the mail. Most of these sweepstakes scams are in the form of letters or emails claiming that you have won a shopping sweepstakes raffle which is mailed by a company with a phony name, address and telephone number. If you receive one, make sure to consider establishing the identity of the company that sends the letter and verify their identification. Legitimate companies sponsoring a sweepstakes draw will usually provide a toll-free number where winners can keep in touch with them. These legitimate sponsors usually prominently expose their identity, whereas scammers usually keep their profile low.
- Note that a legitimate sweepstakes company will never require its winners to pay for anything. When you are asked to pay for some “fee” or “taxes” in order to claim your prize, that is a big indication that you are dealing with a sweepstakes scam. Moreover, you should also think twice about winning a sweepstakes draw when you do not even remember signing up for one.
- Know the telemarketing rules for sweepstakes sales. You can start suspecting a sweepstakes scam when you receive a call and the agent does not conform to the basic rules for selling a sweepstakes. A legitimate telemarketer will adhere to the common rules on information disclosure that include explaining the odds of winning and that you are not required to pay for anything, such as fees and other charges, or to buy something from them. If the telemarketer behaves otherwise, you may suspect that this is just one of the sweepstakes scams you should avoid becoming a victim of.