Sweepstakes Fraud Factsheet

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Sample Envelopes


A Case Study

Sample Envelopes

Sample Letters

A New Twist - Here's a Check!

The Prize You Win

The Canadian connection

The Swiss Connection

The Psychic Connection

What can victims do?

Known Scammers

Additional Links

The Bottom Line

Let's take a look at a few of the envelopes that these mailings come in.

  1. All of them have been sent by bulk mail.  These mailings are being sent to millions of people.

  2. All of these envelopes look official. They are plastered with words that try to make you think that this is a one-of-a-kind notification of prize winnings.  Notice words like personal, confidential, private, inspected, filed, dated, etc.

  3. Many of them use eye-catching words relating to money, like check, monies, disbursement, financial, etc. 


The envelope above states "Secure Mail: Contents Prpared (sic) for Safe Delivery".  Sure would be nice if these people could spell.  You're dealing with a real educated bunch of sleazeballs here.  Read on:  "This U.S. Mail delivered parcel contains your personal papers that eefecuate (sic) the delivery of the check that is now due you."  Aha!  A check is due you... what they don't say on the front is that it's a check for $1.00 or less.

Actual Documents.  Well, I sure hope so.  If these aren't actual documents, what in the world are they?

Tampering with U.S. Mail is a Federal Offense.  Yes, it is - and that includes junk mail.  They just want you to think that this document is really special.

Personal Correspondence.  This used to mean an actual letter, written by a real individual, with you in mind.  Now it means nothing - simply that the contents of the envelope are addressed to you... along with several million other potential suckers.

CPA Notice.  Be sure this has nothing to do with a Certified Public Accountant.  Read the fine print in the letter and you see that it stands for Currency Payguard Accounting, a hollow phrase that means nothing.

Office Matter - is that the same as an "Official Matter"?  They sure hope you think so.

Pending Disbursement - in big red letters. Sure makes you think you've got money coming, doesn't it?

Looks like it was delivered by a courier.  Hand Delivered - thus far, the U.S. Post Office hasn't developed any robots that deliver mail.  Everything is hand-delivered, if you hadn't noticed.

Enclosures carefully inserted and made out to individual addressee only. Documents folded and placed in this envelope for parceling to identified contact. Well, that's special. Somebody stuffed this envelope just for you... and a gozillion other people.

Notice the two different return addresses, but both envelopes have been mailed from Rock Hill, South Carolina.  The information is sent electronically from the originator to a location in the US and processed from there.

Uh oh... they want you to think this one is from FedEx™... similar colors, looks like an express envelope.  Sorry, folks, it's still good old bulk mail.


Just because an envelope looks official does not mean that it is. If you are not sure if a piece of mail addressed to you is official or important, ask a trusted friend who has an eye for the fine print to read the entire mailing carefully.  Your best advice:  Don't enter contests!  They are usually a waste of your time and your money.