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Readers Respond: What Tipped You Off to a Sweepstakes Scam?

Responses: 26


Never bought any overseas lottery .....

I emailed them that I required $5000 from them to process their initial request for me to claim the prize. Never heard from them again. I have never been a sucker. I have received hundreds of emails requesting me to help out the release of millions of US dollars held in trust funds in Africa. My reward would be 25% if I set up an account for them, only after, if I had spent in excess of $2000 in fees for the release of the documents from Africa. I give them all the same story .... "send me $5000 so that I can process all the legal paperwork to set up your special request in my country" As always, I never hear from them again. Just show them a bit of interest and you get bombarded by emails within minutes as to how good you are for wishing to help out. I really can't understand how many people fall for all this crap.
—Guest majong

Gullible Person

Man, I thought it was real! And I lsted my information where I needed to. And sent the message. I signed out, told my sisters about it, and they replied "How much!?" So I signed back in, copied-and-pasted the amount into the Google search engine, and VIOLA!! I got the amount in dollars AND webpages including the e-mail that was sent to my inbox was a scam. I researched it some more, and thought to myself that it was too good to be true. I then sent a letter to them stating that I just lost my house, and my 3 kids and husband have no place to go. That we were just let go and now our children can't go to school because they are to embarassed since they have'nt showered n 5 days! Hahaha! I don't recall ever getting an e-mail back! Hahahahahahah!! Those jerks!
—Guest Wrisk_81

The poor grammar gave them away

It was poorly constructed and had no direct link to a participant. As to your personal informations and your name. The uncertainty was a dead giveaway.
—Guest Angela King


I assumed it was a scam because it was from out of the country
—Guest enrgom

I smell a scam.

When I get a Nigerian mail, that's definitely a big tip off. When I get an email telling me they got a undisclosed source to help them because I sir or madame wouldn't help, then it's a really big clue.


Lottery # for a lottery I didn't enter. Payable in British pounds.
—Guest Bernie

what tipped me off...

In the "to" section it had undisclosed-recipients instead of my name, in addition to what the others have commented on.
—Guest gina

I won & they don't even know my name?

"To: undisclosed-recipients" is definitely a flag. If it was some sort of sweepstakes, I would have filled out my name, whereas if it was a real lottery, they would not have my email address and would not be seeking me out. I have actually received atleast 2 similar emails in the past year.
—Guest Amanda R


how can YOU be the winner...and they dont know who YOU are...plus there's too many numbers flyin' around

No specific indentification of winner

It is very generic. Addressed to "Dear Winner" and in order to claim the prize they ask you to provide your contact information which normally contests collect when you first enter.

scam tipoff

For me, it was how the email was addressed to "undisclosed recipients" . I have received several of these sweepstakes scams and they never greet me by name. Letters and emails I have receiged that have been legitimate winning notifications have my name on them.

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