Prize Winning Scams
We Fall Everytime
Despite how many times we've been warned, we just can't help falling for the prize winning scam.
Each and every day, thousands of letters are delivered to household mailboxes and email accounts throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. These letters consist of bogus claims, stating that the recipient has won a prize for thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars. Perhaps it's something like a brand new car or a luxurious getaway to the Caribbeans. In order to claim the prize, the recipient is usually required to pay a minimal fee or disclose details regarding their bank account.
While it is very likely that the recipient hasn't even entered a prize drawing, the sender will often claim that they were specially selected based on personal details derived from a trusted source. If the prize winner happens to pay the fee or offer details of their account as requested, they are unknowingly passing this information onto a scam artist and making themselves a victim of a modern day organized crime ring.
About Nominal Fees
When instinct tells you that something is too good to be true, more than likely it is. Still, a fair amount of people continue to send off checks, money orders and compromise their bank accounts with the belief that this a nominal price to pay for an even bigger reward.
In a recent raid on a P.O. Box address located in Canada, authorities discovered several checks sent from the U.K. made out for nominal fees to a fraudulent prize issuing company. The total was only for a week's worth of work, yet each check brought the grand total to an estimated $350,000.
The List for Suckers
Enthused by these tempting prizes, many people respond to deceptive letters, emails and phone calls, thinking there is no real harm in checking into it. This is far from the truth. A statement released from the Office of Fair Trading reports that individuals who do follow up find themselves on a "suckers list." Their personal information is then sold on the black market throughout the globe. Responding to a single plot could lead to a future filled with nagging letters, emails and phone calls tempting to lure you into another scam.
Warnings from the Government
Prize winning scams have become such an issue that the government has stepped in and launched a campaign warning people of the dangers that exist with fraudulent prize drawings. The best way to combat these types of scams is to never send money up front. If everyone took note of this, prize winning scams would have no power or funds to exist.
Legitimate Prize Winning Drawings
Unfortunately, the growing number of phoney prize drawings has tarnished the name of this type of competition in general. Nevertheless, many competitions are being operated throughout the U.S. and the U.K. by trustworthy companies. People should not be discouraged by all the scams but exercise caution and suspicion when looking to participate. It is highly recommended that you do a bit of research on the company offering the prize and never send any money in advance.