The Bottomline on Sweepstakes Fraud

You Could Already Be a Winner!

How often do you open your mailbox to discover that you may have already won a number of great prizes? Once a week? Once a day? It's no wonder. Sweepstakes fraud is on the rise.

Arm yourself against sweepstakes scams by learning how to spot the fakes. According to the Consumer's Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports publications:

  • Real sweepstakes don't require you to buy something in order to "qualify."
  • Real sweepstakes don't require you to pay shipping costs to claim your prize.
  • Real sweepstakes don't require you to give out your credit card number.
  • Real sweepstakes don't require you to call a 900 number to claim the prize.
  • If you've won a cash prize, a real sweepstakes will either withhold taxes or report your winnings to the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Always read the fine print - most "sweepstake" offers are nothing more than advertisements or inducements to purchase a product.