BR Better Business Bureau warns of sweepstakes scams

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 1:57 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Better Business Bureau in Baton Rouge is warning the public about a sweepstakes scam.

The warning comes after a Baton Rouge area woman received an email from someone claiming to be giving away $100,000 to the first 100 people who responded to the email.

The Better Business Bureau said the message is a perfect example of sweepstakes, lottery, and prize scams.

The agency released the below tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • You’ve got to play to win. A notification that you have won a prize in a contest you do not remember entering should be a red flag. Keep track of all sweepstakes entries so it’s easy to check if a legitimate contest-related company is confirming winnings. When entering, read the fine print and rules for how prizes are claimed.
  • Don’t pay upfront fees to claim a prize. No legitimate sweepstakes company will ever ask to pay a fee or buy something to enter or improve the chances of winning — that includes paying “taxes,” “shipping and handling charges,” or “processing fees” to get a prize.
  • Checks will bounce after the bank allows the account holder to withdraw cash from the deposit. Check processing is a confusing business, as is the terminology. Even if a bank representative tells you that a check has “cleared” you can’t be sure it won’t be detected as a fake weeks later. One thing you can be sure of is that you will be on the hook for any funds drawn against the amount.
  • Be suspicious of irregular communication. Real sweepstakes will not notify you via text or bulk mail. They will not send a check in the mail without first confirming with you. And you won’t be notified that you are a winner and have to respond or act within 24 hours to collect your prize.

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