Posted Tuesday, November 02, 2010 in
A common way consumers can be tricked into a sweepstakes scam is when the person who initiates the contact identifies with a well known organization or government entity. Luckily the person who called BBB yesterday wasn't fooled by a phone call from the "Federal Gaming Commission."
A voice mail was left congratulating him on winning 2nd place in a sweepstakes. The payout was for $450,000 and the taxes had already been taken out. All he had to do was contact a company called Lloyd's of London to secure payment for the insurance of the check, which would be mailed out in a couple of days. The consumer was given a phone number for both the "Federal Gaming Commission" and Lloyd's of London as well as a contact, but smartly did not call either of those numbers. A check of the numbers revealed that, while there is a company called Lloyd's of London that handles insurance, it is literally in London and the phone number given was from Las Vegas.
It's important to remember, as the consumer did, that you cannot win a contest or sweepstakes you did not enter. On top of that, a true sweepstakes that you took the time to enter correctly should not require any out of pocket expenses for insurance, taxes, shipment, etc. If you receive a phone call or letter that is suspicious, just do what this consumer did and let BBB know. We like investigating.