Home Members Tools Credit Cards
   

  • Learn the Signs of a Sweepstakes or Contest Scam

    The FTC received 1.8 million consumer complaints in 2011. Scams related to prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries were third on the list of top complaint categories with more than 100,000 complaints. Identity theft and debt collection were the top two complaint categories.

    Falling for a sweepstakes scam can be costly; you might be out of hundreds or thousands of dollars. Thieves may even scam you out of enough personal information to commit bank fraud or identity theft, which are both costly and time-consuming crimes to deal with.

    Scammers go through great lengths to make their notifications look legitimate so recognizing them might be difficult. Some have even impersonated the FTC and other government agencies in their scams. Knowing the signs of a scam is critical.

    Scams May Ask You to Wire Money

    Sweepstakes scams often try to get you to pay some advance fee to collect your prize. They may claim that you’ve won a certain amount of money but you’ll have to pay taxes and fees before they can send you the prize. But why can’t they just deduct the taxes from the prize, if there really is a prize?

    These advance fee sweepstakes scams often get you to wire the money because it’s difficult to get your money back after you’ve wired it. Some scammers never send back anything after you’ve paid the fees. Others send something back, but “prize” may be worth even less than the fees you paid.

    In another type of scam, scammers send a fake prize check and ask you to wire back the fees and taxes owed. (Would a legitimate company really trust a consumer to send back fees?) Cashing a fake check is a crime and the bank may not realize the check is fake until after you’ve cashed it and after you’ve wired back the required “fees.” Once the bank figures out the check is a fake, they’ll look to you to repay any money you’ve already spent, including money you may have wired to the scammer.

    Winning a Contest You Never Entered

    Being asked to wire or send money to collect a prize is just one of the signs of a scam. Another sign is that you’ve won something in a contest you never entered. If you know you never enter contests or sweepstakes, chances are notification of a win is just a scam.

    But, if you have entered a contest, do some due diligence to see if you’ve won. Use the internet to find the true contact information for the sweepstakes owner and contact them directly to see if you’ve won.

    Lottery Scams

    Be on the lookout for lottery-related scams, too. Note that you must have purchased a lottery ticket with the winning numbers to win the lottery. Many major lotteries put the winning lottery numbers online, so you can confirm whether you’ve really won or not. And, playing a foreign lottery is illegal unless you visited that company and purchased a lottery ticket there.

    Other signs of a scam: you’re never addressed by name, the notification is from a government agency or bureau (who never offers sweepstakes), or the notification was sent by bulk mail.

    Stop Unsolicited Sweepstakes Calls

    If a telemarketer calls you about a prize, they’re required to give you certain information about the promotion including your odds of winning, a disclaimer that no fee is required, and the conditions you’ll have to meet to redeem your prize.

    To stop telemarketers from calling you, you can register with the National Do Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you want to register. You’ll have to renew your registration every five years. If somehow a company slips through the cracks, you can ask them to place you on their do not call list. Stop mailings by writing or calling to remove your name from the mailing list.

    Report any sweepstakes scams to the FTC by visiting www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

    Source: FTC.gov
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Meya's Avatar
      Meya -
      Great information!
  • Disclaimer

    Information in these articles is brought to you by Finance Globe. Banks, issuers, credit card, and other companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles and is further subject to our terms and conditions.
  • Recent Headlines and Articles

    ChrisB

    Overlooked Benefits of Online Banking

    Many years ago, nobody would have given online banking a second thought. In today’s world, with so much advanced technology, this is something millions of people have fallen in love... read more
    ChrisB October 23rd, 2014, 09:20 AM
    ChrisB

    3 Alternatives to Traditional Retirement Saving

    When it comes to saving for retirement, you know one thing to be true: more is always better. While this may be the case, some people don’t have enough time or earn enough money to reach their goals.
    ... read more
    ChrisB October 22nd, 2014, 09:27 AM
    ChrisB

    5 Ways to Save More for Retirement

    Is retirement age closing in on you in a hurry? Are you worried that you don’t have enough money to hang up your work boots for good? If you find yourself in this position, you can take comfort in knowing that you are not alone.... read more
    ChrisB October 21st, 2014, 08:38 AM
    ChrisB

    The Cost of Upgrading your Company’s Technology

    As a small business owner, you likely understand the importance of technology. Some companies are ahead of the times, while others are lagging behind and looking for a way to catch up.

    If you feel that now... read more
    ChrisB October 20th, 2014, 09:53 AM
    ChrisB

    The Benefits of an Online Life Insurance Quote

    When the time comes to purchase life insurance, you have several options for starting the process.

    Some people know an insurance agent who can help them. For this reason, they contact the person... read more
    ChrisB October 16th, 2014, 10:32 AM
    ChrisB

    Is it Time to Purchase a New Computer for your Business?

    In today’s day and age, most companies, regardless of size and industry, understand the importance of taking full advantage of technology.

    The computer you are using today may not... read more
    ChrisB October 14th, 2014, 10:33 AM
    ChrisB

    What is the True Cost of that New Car?

    As you begin your search for a new car, it is easy to get drawn in by shiny paint, high tech features, and so much more. While there is sure to come a time when you focus on the sticker price of the vehicle,... read more
    ChrisB October 13th, 2014, 09:48 AM
  • Recent Article Comments

    Wanderer

    Overlooked Benefits of Online Banking

    Took me a long time to buy into online banking. The benefits of availability coupled with much... Go to last post

    Wanderer October 24th, 2014 03:05 AM

 

 

 

Credit Cards | Finance Social Network | Credit Card Reviews | Markets
About Us | FG on the Web | Sitemap | Privacy | Terms | Contact


Copyright © 2014 Finance Globe. All rights reserved.