Lexington, KY - Every time you turn around there seems to be a new sweepstakes prize scam aimed at fooling you into giving up some money rather than awarding you any.
Your Better Business Bureau hears from many people who have received letters in the mail seeming to promise them riches from some sweepstakes. One we have seen lately is from the "Prize Information Bureau" in Las Vegas. It is using what looks like a name of a government agency in an effort to gain credibility.
It states it's a priority dispatch to the State of Kentucky "Commissioners of Registration". (We've never heard of an agency by THAT name!) It carries official looking seals and says it's an urgent notice. That gets your attention!
It says you are a "verified and confirmed recipient of reported cash/prize opportunities totaling over $3 million dollars."
You are to sign the claim form and send it along with $20 dollars.
Sounds great, right? Wrong. The recipient of this mailing from the "Prize Information Bureau" hasn't won a dime. How do we know? Let's back up a bit.
You can learn to watch for language in mailings like this that gives away the scheme. Note that it says prize "OPPORTUNITIES." That means you have a CHANCE to win. Elsewhere the mailing refers to a Prize REPORT. That's exactly what your twenty dollars will get you….a report.
If you look at the back of the letter, it tells you just that…that the company is simply a reporting service on various sweepstakes you can enter.
Remember, it is against federal law for a company to require payment of any kind from you if you have won a prize. The only fee you should pay is taxes, and only to the IRS. If you get a notice like this one, don't fall for it!
Be a "Don’t Fall for It!" informant! If you have something to share you believe may be a fraudulent offer or scam, please let the BBB know! Call us at (859) 259-1008 or toll-free, 1-800-866-6668, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.