Sweepstakes Check Scam

woman with sweepstakes check scamWho would not love to be that winner you see on TV holding a large sweepstakes check? That’s what the scam artists are counting on when they declare to be Publishers Cleaning Home. This technique is old but still very good for scammers.

The scam begins with a call or letter stating you have actually won the Publishers Cleaning House sweepstakes. But to gather your reward, they state, you have to send out a loan to pay for fees and taxes. Usually you’ll be asked to send money by Western Union or MoneyGram, or by getting a re loadable card or present card. Scammers ask you to pay these ways because it’s nearly impossible to trace the cash– and you’ll nearly never ever get it back.

However that’s not the only way fraudsters get your money with this fraud. Some will send you a realistic-looking phony check in the mail. You’re told that, to claim your prize, you need to deposit the check and send out some of the money back for fabricated expenditures. But when the sweepstakes check you transfer bounces– even after it appeared to clear– you may be on the hook for the money you sent out.

If you believe you’ve won a reward, here are a couple of things to understand:

– Never ever send out cash to collect a reward, sweepstakes check, or lottery profits. If you have to pay, it’s a rip-off.

– Never ever deposit a check and return money, even if the funds appear in your account. That’s a sure sign of a rip-off.

– If anybody calls asking you to pay for a prize, hang up and report it to the FTC.
Wish to know more? Read our article on Prize Scams. And, if you wired cash to a prize scammer through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you might be qualified for a refund.

Still think it’s genuine? The genuine Publishers Cleaning House states it will never ask you to pay a cost to collect a prize. Take A Look At Publishers Cleaning House’s scams security page. 

Note:  Pulisher’s Clearing House are saying that some people are posing as them in a scam but they are not a scam.   CWP

by Mary Cotton
source:consumer.ftc.gov

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