A Case Study
A New Twist - Here's a Check
The Prize You Win
The Canadian connection
The Swiss Connection
The Psychic Connection
What can victims do?
The Bottom Line
The sad fact is, very few victims of sweepstakes fraud ever recover their
money. The modern age of electronic communications allows these
cockroaches to hide themselves anywhere. However, there are some steps
you can take which may help. Please visit the "Additional
Links" page for more information.
Even if you have lost no
money but are receiving these solicitations:
- Complain to the U.S. Postal Service.
If you don't complain, nothing will happen. 84,000 complaints of
this nature were received last year, which is a drop in the bucket
compared to how many pieces of mail are sent out. Complaint forms
are available at your post office.
If you have lost a small amount of money, add these steps:
If you've already sent off your "processing fee" or whatever they call
it, and you find yourself with nothing to show for your investment, at the
very least do the following things:
- Write the company
requesting your money back. You may get it, you may not, but it's
worth the try.
- Notify the Better Business Bureau
in your area and file a complaint.
- Tell everyone who will
listen what has happened to you. You may help someone else avoid the same
scam, or worse.
If you have been defrauded of a large amount of money,
add these steps:
- Notify the police at once.
This is your best weapon to help stop the ongoing problem. You may
not get your own money back, but the chances increase that the fraudsters
will be caught and put in jail where they belong.
- Contact the Attorney General in your state. If
you know the scammers are outside your country, notify the FBI.
Usually the feds won't get involved unless the amount is over $100,000,
but notify them anyway so they know what is going on.
- If you lost money via a wire transfer,
bank. The chances are slim, but they may be able to reverse the
transfer before it is finalized.
Family members, consider the following actions:
- Have the victim's telephone
number changed to an unlisted number, and have a trusted friend or
relative distribute the number to contacts that the individual desires.
- Have the victim's checking
account changed to a two-signature account, to prevent
spur-of-the-moment purchases or withdrawals.
- Cancel the victim's credit cards
or reduce the credit limit to a manageable level, like $500.00