Image Courtesy: news9.com
Nothing beats the excitement of winning sweepstakes! Every day, millions of people enter sweepstakes, with the hope to win amazing prizes. These prizes may range from life-changing ones like a new luxury home or a car to fun prizes like tickets to concerts or brand new gadgets. But be aware! There are some con people out there who prey on hopes of winning. They disguise themselves as genuine companies offering huge prizes and get the individuals to pay money for claiming bogus prizes. And the worst part is that these scammers have become so skilled that even smart people are getting fooled by their tricks. To save yourself from falling victim to these scams, please go through the points that are listed below. Keeping them in your mind will definitely make you a ‘Scam Smart’.
No legitimate sweepstakes will ask you to send money to pre-pay taxes, to cover a legal fee, shipping fee, or any other kind of fee for claiming the prize. So, receiving a letter, email or a call demanding you to pay for a prize is a clear indicator that the offer is fraudulent. You should never respond to any such communication.
One of the easiest ways to avoid sweepstakes scams is to never open links sent by unknown or suspicious senders and companies.
If you’re receiving an email from a big company like IBM telling you that you’ve won sweepstakes, but the email account reads Yahoo, then it’s definitely a scam. Because scammers use free email accounts such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, ZZN, etc. to send emails rather than official legitimate company accounts.
Another best bet to stay safe is to enter only those sweepstakes that are conducted by the companies you are familiar with. And to verify whether a sweepstake is actually from a reputable sponsor as claimed, you can visit the sponsor's web page and check if there’s any reference to the promotion. Not all sponsors advertise their sweepstakes on their main web page, but the majority of them do.
If you’re not familiar with the company, make sure to do some research and know about it. Search for the official website of the company or type the company name into a search-engine along with words like “review”, “scam” or “complaints”.
Legitimate Sweepstakes must have a clear set of rules, and they should be easy to find and understand as well. Read all the points carefully, especially the small print. And make sure that the following details are included in it - starting & ending dates, eligibility requirements, prize, odds of winning, and an address to request winners list.
If you do happen to receive a Sweepstakes winning message, never ever share your debit/credit card information or your bank account information. Scammers will ask you for such personal information claiming to send you the prize, but what they all do with your information is to steal your hard-earned money.
Got a big check with a winning notification in the mail? Then simply, shred and throw it away without a second thought. It is a trick used by scammers to con people into thinking that sweepstakes scams are legal. Any legitimate Sweepstakes will need an affidavit before sending out any prize worth over $600. So be careful, because if you try to cash such fraudulent checks, you’ll face some dire consequences like fines, loss of accounts, and even jail.
You can never win a Sweepstakes without entering. So be extra cautious if you get a winning notice from a company you’ve never heard of. And if you’re a regular sweeper, make sure to keep a list of sweepstakes you enter, so that you can refer to it on the occurrence of such a situation.
An occasional typo isn’t a big deal, but messages and notifications full of obvious errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation usually point out a scam. That’s because most sweepstakes scams originate outside of the U.S. and Canada, and are created by those who don’t have command of the language. Therefore, be wary of any win notifications with a lot of errors.
If you stick to the above-mentioned tips, you will never become a victim of sweepstakes scams. Having said that, did you know that there are some smart tactics for winning legitimate Sweepstakes? Yes, you can dramatically increase your chances to win by employing some easy tips and tricks. Listed below are a few such helpful tips. Follow them and start winning awesome prizes more and more often.
1. Enter as many sweepstakes as you can on a regular basis, and the best way to do so is to follow leading sweepstakes publishing sites like Sweepstakesbible, SweepstakesLovers, SweepstakesMama, SweepsAdvantage, SweepstakesToday, etc.
2. Pay attention to entry frequency - it can be one-time entry, daily entry, weekly entry, monthly entry, or even multiple entries. Enter each Sweepstakes as many times as allowed and get the most entries possible.
3. Participate in local Sweepstakes regularly.
4. Keep track of all the Sweepstakes that you enter.
5. Research Sponsors and ensure that the Sweepstakes is legitimate.
6. Prioritize Sweepstakes that offers lots of Prizes to win. So keep track of and enter the following: daily prize sweepstakes, weekly prize sweepstakes, monthly prize sweepstakes, and instant win prize sweepstakes. You can even follow sponsors like Better Homes and Gardens who regularly offer such big sweepstakes, to grab more and more opportunities to win.
7. Look for Sweepstakes that restrict participation from other States.
8. Don’t miss Sweepstakes that are for a specific age range or gender.
9. Focus on those that are not advertised aggressively.
10. Take on Sweepstakes with short & limited entry periods.
Submitted by Derickstuff on March 28, 2015 03:38am