SCAM ALERT: Prize Scams, Don’t Pay To Play

By  //  February 26, 2017


ABOVE VIDEO: Think of how many times you’ve entered a contest to win a car, money or maybe even a vacation.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA (FTC) — You get a phone call from an excited caller saying you’ve won a trip, a car, or a lot of money. Next, they ask you to send money before you get the prize.

That is a sure sign of a scam.

Recently, we’ve heard about a spike in prize scam calls. Although there are some legitimate contests, remember: there are a lot of scams. Here are a few ways to spot a prize scam:

Scammers ask you to pay before you can claim your prize:

Legitimate sweepstakes don’t make you pay a fee or buy something to enter or improve your chances of winning.

Scammers might try to sound official and say it’s for “taxes,” “shipping and handling charges,” or “processing fees:

Don’t pay to claim a prize, and never give your checking or credit card number for a sweepstakes promotion.

Scammers ask you to wire money to “insure” delivery of your prize. Don’t do it:

Legitimate sweepstakes don’t ask you to wire money. Once you wire money, you can’t get it back.  The same goes for sending a check or money order by overnight delivery or putting money on a prepaid debit card.

Scammers send you a check and ask you to send some of the money back:

But the check is fake, and you’re responsible for repaying the bank.

Scammers use the names of well-known companies for prize scams:

Con artists often pretend to call from well-known companies to make themselves appear legitimate and gain your trust.

Always report suspicious activity:

If you don’t remember entering, you probably didn’t. If you think it may be legit, use a search engine to find the company’s real phone number.

Call to confirm that you entered a contest before responding to any claims that you won.

CLICK HERE if you’re suspicious of a prize offer, report it to us.