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Scams and Safety - How to Protect Yourself from Sweepstakes Scams

Sweepstakes scams, lottery scams, and 419 scams. Learn how to recognize and avoid sweepstakes fraud and protect your personal information while entering sweepstakes. Find out how to tell a scam from a legitimate sweepstakes win, and how to report fraud to the proper authorities.

Poll: Have You Received a Sweepstakes Scam?
1) Yes, by postal mail. 2) Yes, by email. 3) Yes, both. 4) No. | View Results
  1. Common Sweepstakes Scams (?)
  2. Protect Your Privacy (?)

Top Warning Signs of Sweepstakes Scams
Learn to recognize the top signs that a win is not legitimate, you can avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

Top Things that Aren't Signs of Sweepstakes Scams
While it's very important to be aware of the warning signs of a sweepstakes scam, I've also seen people who are afraid to respond to real win notices because of perfectly normal sweepstakes practices. Here are some of the top things that aren't signs of scams.

Can You Trust That Contest?
Have you ever come across a giveaway and wondered whether it is safe to enter? These tips will help you evaluate sweepstakes to decide whether they are trustworthy.

Top Questions to Ask to Decide if Sweepstakes Are Legitimate
Learn how to tell the difference between a legitimate company and a sweepstakes scam.

How to Recognize Publishers Clearing House Scams
Do you think you might have really won a prize from Publishers Clearing House? Learn how to recognize PCH scams and differentiate them from real wins.

Before You Respond to a Win Notification...
Sweepers are especially vulnerable to sweepstakes scams. If you are unsure whether a win notification is real or a fraud, taking a few minutes to research it could save you a lot of hassle and money down the road. Here's how.

Check Scams – Don't Be Scammed by Fraudulent Prize Checks
Check scams are among the easiest sweepstakes scams to believe, because it's hard to argue with a check in hand. But cashing fraudulent checks can have serious consequences, even for the victims. Find out what the consequences of check scams are and how to avoid them.

How to Win an iPad (and How Not To!)
Learn how to win an iPad without falling for scams. Many free iPad offers are actually scams or marketing offers in disguise. These 10 tips will help you make the right decision about when to enter and when to decline the offer.

Are Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scams?
Are Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes scams? Find out whether sweepstakes from PCH are worth entering and whether you've received a legitimate prize notification or are the victim of a Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes fraud.

How to Choose Good Sweepstakes Passwords
Do you know how to choose a good sweepstakes password? Many sweepstakes let you assign a password for faster entry. Here are some tips on picking secure passwords.

Are Reader's Digest Sweepstakes Scams?
Are Reader's Digest Sweepstakes scams? Find out whether sweepstakes from Reader's Digest are worth entering and whether you've received a legitimate prize notification or are the victim of a Reader's Digest Sweepstakes fraud.

Spyware Tips - Relate Your Experiences with Spyware
Have you had trouble with spyware on your computer? Do you know how you got it? What did you do to remove spyware? Share your spyware experiences here!

How to Avoid Spyware While Entering Sweepstakes
Spyware can track your internet habits, log sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers, and slow or corrupt your computer. Learn how to avoid spyware while entering sweepstakes and contests online.

How to Research Your Wins Before Responding to Notifications
Sweepers are especially vulnerable to sweepstakes scams. If you are unsure whether a win notification is real or a fraud, taking a few minutes to research it could save you a lot of hassle and money down the road. Here's how.

Where to Report Sweepstakes Fraud
If you were the victim of a sweepstakes scam, learn where to report the scam so that the proper authorities can investigate.

How Sweepstakes Scams Work - And How to Protect Yourself
An overview of the goals of sweepstakes scams, and how you can protect yourself from them.

Identity Theft and Sweepstakes
Find out how criminals can use sweepstakes to perpetrate identity theft, and how you can avoid becoming a victim.

Alert: You Don't Have to Pay to Win!
Every year, scammers trick gullible people out of thousands of dollars by promising that a prize win is just around the corner. Learn how to spot a mail-order sweepstakes scam.

New Twist on Sweepstakes Scams
Scammers are getting smarter and more professional every day. Read about the latest twist on the "pay before you win" scam in order to protect yourself.

Poetry Contest Scams - Don't Pay to See Your Work in Print
Learn to recognize a growing type of scam - bogus poetry contests - and what to do about them.

Sweepstakes Scam Warning: Phone Calls Asking for Too Much Information
Learn about a common sweepstakes scam - a phone call saying that you won, and asking for personal information that could be used for identity fraud.

Does Receiving a Sweepstakes Scam Mean My Identity Has Been Stolen?
If you've received a sweepstakes scam notice, does that mean that you should worry that scammers are already stealing your identity? Find out!

How to Detect a Phishing Email Scam
Phishing scams try to convince you that you are giving your information to a trustworthy site - but actually, a criminal is noting down your name, password, and other critical details. Learn how to recognize and avoid phishing scams, by our guide to Identity Theft.

Magazine Sweepstakes: Are They Scams?
Magazine sweepstakes are a win-win situation. They're a great way to win valuable prizes, while helping the magazines raise subscriptions and loyalty. However, there's a drawback that you should be aware of when you enter magazine sweepstakes. Find out more, before you make a costly mistake!

Recognize and Avoid PCH Facebook Scams
Do you know how to recognize and avoid Publishers Clearing House scams on Facebook? These tips will help you tell whether PCH Facebook win notifications are real or scams.

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