The next time you get a "personal" letter or telephone call telling you "it’s your lucky day," the Federal Trade Commission encourages you to remember that: 1.Legitimate sweepstakes don’t require you to pay or buy something to enter or improve your chances -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- of winning, or to pay "taxes" or "shipping and handling charges" to get your prize. If you have to pay to receive your "prize," it’s not a prize at all. Prize Offers: You Don’t Have to Pay to Play! www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/telemarketing/tel17.shtm Congratulations, it’s your lucky day! You’ve just won $5,000! You’re guaranteed to win a fabulous diamond ring, luxury vacation or all-terrain vehicle! If you receive a letter or phone call with a message like this, be skeptical. The $5,000 "prize" may cost you hundreds of dollars in taxes or service charges — and never arrive. Your "fabulous" prize may not be worth collecting. The diamond is likely to be the size of a pinhead. The "vacation" could be one night in a seedy motel, and the ATV, nothing more than a lounge chair on wheels! Scam artists often use the promise of a valuable prize or award to entice consumers to send money, buy overpriced products or services, or contribute to bogus charities. People who fall for their ploys may end up paying far more than their "prizes" are worth, if they get a prize at all. What these people are likely to get - especially if they signed up for a contest drawing at a public place or event — may be more than they bargained for: more promotions in the mail, more telemarketing calls and more unsolicited commercial email, or "spam." This is because many prize promoters sell the information they collect to advertisers. Worse yet, contest entrants might subject themselves to a bogus prize promotion scam. And The Winner Is... Everyone loves to be a winner. A recent research poll showed that more than half of all American adults entered sweepstakes within the past year. Most of these contests were run by reputable marketers and non-profit organizations to promote their products and services. Some lucky winners received millions of dollars or valuable prizes. Capitalizing on the popularity of these offers, some con artists disguise their schemes to look legitimate. And an alarming number of people take the bait. Every day, consumers throughout the United States lose thousands of dollars to unscrupulous prize promoters. During 1999 alone, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 10,000 complaints from consumers about gifts, sweepstakes and prize promotions. Many received telephone calls or postcards telling them they'd won a big prize - only to find out that to claim it, they had to buy something or pay as much as $10,000 in fees or other charges. There's a big difference between legitimate sweepstakes and fraudulent ones. Prizes in legitimate contests are awarded solely by chance, and contestants don't have to pay a fee or buy something to enter or increase their odds of winning. In fraudulent schemes, however, "winners" almost always have to dip into their pockets to enter a contest or collect their "prize." Skill Contests There's one notable exception: skill contests. These are puzzles, games or other contests in which prizes are awarded based on skill, knowledge or talent - not on chance. Contestants might be required to write a jingle, solve a puzzle or answer questions correctly to win. Unlike sweepstakes, skill contests may legally require contestants to buy something or make a payment or donation to enter. It's important to recognize that many consumers are deceptively lured into playing skill contests by easy initial questions or puzzles. Once they've sent their money and become "hooked," the questions get harder and the entry fees get steeper. Entrants in these contests rarely receive anything for their money and effort. Consumer Protections Several consumer laws help protect consumers against fraudulent sweepstakes and prize offers promoted through the mail or by phone. Telephone Solicitations Telemarketers frequently use sweepstakes and prize contests to sell magazines or other goods and services. These telemarketers make an initial contact with consumers through "cold calls," or take calls from consumers who are responding to a solicitation they received by mail. The Telemarketing Sales Rule helps protect consumers from fraudulent telemarketers who use prize promotions as a lure. In every telemarketing call involving a prize promotion, the law requires telemarketers to tell you: the odds of winning a prize. If the odds can't be determined in advance, the promoter must tell you the factors used to calculate the odds. that you don't have to pay a fee or buy something to win a prize or participate in the promotion. Check out the web address listed for more information.
All Comments (15)
Who ever this is keeps calling my phone number and it isn't even a listed number. You would think if they didn't get a live person to talk to that they would stop calling but no they don't. I'm tired of this crap and want it to stop.
.Legitimate sweepstakes don’t require you to pay or buy something to enter or improve your chances -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- of winning, or to pay "taxes" or "shipping and handling charges" to get your prize. If you have to pay to receive your "prize," it’s not a prize at all. Prize Offers: You Don’t Have to Pay to Play! www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/telemarketing/tel17.shtm
First you are told you are a finalist in a contest, then they talk about magazines, they are United Publishers of America.
A very rude man just call m number...same story about me been a visa or master card user....a diamond watch n a 500 dollars grocery card and 5,000 us prize only if i accept buying digest reader .41 cents a day for a year, than i aask so your company is going to give me thousand if only i accept to buy readers 41. cents a day (149.us for the year)?? thats how we do bussiness in usa, he replied, so i told he i was going to be one of the silly one who where going to miss on a great offer....he did not even let me finish, VERY RUDE! SCAMMERSSSS!!!!! them i call the number back and a lady answer...as soon as i tried to explain my issue, she hang up the phone.....BIg SCAMMERSSSSSS!!!!
I've recieved several calls from these people telling me that I've won a half million dollars. I don't recall the name of the person I talked, each time they call, they ask do I still have a master card or visa card. Once I tell them yes I have one, they tell me to hold on to speak to their lawyer, but the phone always hang up. Two days ago, I received a call from them telling me to expect a visit with the money, but nobody showed, and when I called this number back, I was told they only give away $5,000 in January 2012. The first two callers talked with an accent, but third and fourth callers was an African American female.