Sweepstakes Fraud Factsheet

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The Bottom Line


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

Remember:  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  1. It is against the law to charge even a penny to collect a prize.
If you are being asked for money, you have won nothing.  Someone is trying to sell you something, or worse, simply take your money.

    2.    If you are victimized by this kind of scam, the chances that you will recover your money are very, very slim.

Fraudsters are now operating with the full support of the internet, electronic banking, wire transfers, and the like.  They change addresses, use different cell phone numbers, adopt different aliases, and may not even be in your own country.  Here today and gone tomorrow, they try to stay one step ahead of law enforcement or regulatory agencies.

    3.    These scams succeed because they play on the greed of the victims.

Nothing comes from nothing.  There is no free lunch.  There are some legitimate sweepstakes around, but the odds of winning them are astronomically high. Never compromise your own morals for the sake of a "good deal".

    4.    These scams succeed because they play on the shame of the victims.

Once someone has become a victim of these frauds, the tendency is to not report the crime.  If only a few dollars have been lost, the victim usually chalks it up to experience.  If it's thousands of dollars, they don't want to appear foolish to their friends or family.  As a result, most instances go unreported, and the fraudsters proliferate because it's easy money... and a lot of it.

  •  Be smart!  Keep your money... you've worked hard for it.

 There are countless people out there who want what you have, and countless ways of getting it.  Deal only with reputable companies and stay away from the get-rich-quick schemes.