Combatting Fraud: Sweepstakes Scams
We all dream of receiving that call or email that tells us we’ve won a huge cash prize or sweepstakes. In fact, you have probably thought about how you’d spend the money – the house you’d buy, the places to travel, and how you would donate to your favorite charity to make a difference.
But if you’re contacted and told you’ve won a sweepstakes or cash prize, it’s important to be sure it’s legitimate before you get your hopes up. The first question you should ask yourself: Is this a sweepstakes or contest you actually entered your name in? If not, that’s a big red flag that the call or email could be a scam.
Scammers may try to convince you that someone else entered your name, or imply that you simply don’t remember entering. They may try to tie the winnings back to something you’re familiar with – a bank, place of business, or brand you’re familiar with.
If you have doubts, ask for more details and then try to call the actual company yourself before taking any action. Don’t click any links or provide any personal information before doing your research.
If the sweepstakes is legitimate, the representatives will understand your desire to be certain before doing anything. After all if you truly won, you shouldn’t have to “do” anything to collect your winnings. If you’re asked to confirm personal financial information or asked to prepay taxes and fees, that’s a sign of a scam.
To learn more about “You’ve Won” scams, check out the resources below: