AARP AARP States South Dakota Scams & Fraud

Sweepstakes Scams: Coming to a Mailbox Near You

How it works: 

Scam artists send mass-produced form letters to thousands of recipients every month. The mailing might inform you that you have won a million dollar prize, but that you need to pay a fee or a tax in advance to receive the funds. You pay the fee, and then receive nothing.

What you should know:

The United States Postal Service and U.S. Department of Justice are warning consumers about this type of fraud.  They advise consumers never to send money in order to receive sweepstakes or lottery winnings. Consumers are never required to pay money to receive these kinds of awards.

What you should do: 

If you get a suspicious letter, or think you may be a victim of a fraud scheme, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint and contact the South Dakota Attorney General's Office at 1-800-300-1986. You can read more about sweepstakes scams here.

And remember, you can’t “win” a sweepstakes or lottery that you didn’t enter!

Photo courtesy of: iStockphoto.com/alexskopje