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

Responses: 26


Have you received a sweepstakes scam by email, mail, or telephone? How did you tell the difference between the scam and a legitimate prize win? Share your experience here.

It was the exclamation marks

Three exclamation marks in a subject line looks very unprofessional. I wouldn't expect any organization giving away that much money to use punctuation like that.
—Guest Keliry

You Have to Play to Win ...

... and I didn't play ... I don't even buy lottery tickets here in the US. Why would *anyone* be so gullible as to believe they had won a sweepstakes from a country they had never even visited? Oh, and by the way, they just happened to have your email address on file ... RIGHT!!
—Guest Jay

Anything from overseas

I agree that excessive use of exclamation points is a red flag that this is a scam. Also, the fact that it's to 'undisclosed recipients' as well from a sweepstakes company in Wales would be another tip-off for me.

The place

The tip off for me was that it came from West Glamorgan. I only enter online sweepstakes from East Glamorgan.

I guess I'm too gullible

If I had received that email, I might almost have fallen for it. I guess the fact that they used the term "fiduciary" might have impressed me :-) It's a good thing I have a good spam filter on my email!
—Guest SusanH

The strange grammar

The grammar is choppy and reads strangely. The whole thing just seems unprofessional.
—Guest fc

Never entered

You never EVER win a sweepstakes that you didn't enter. The first thing I do when I see I've won something is that I look at the contest to see if I remember entering it. If not then I bounce it back to the sender.


Whatever method they use, they will be asking for the same thing: either your bank account details, or some money in another form and the messages they send always look official, but they’re not. They’re fake.
—Guest pawan

National Payment Services Scam

I wish they would stop sending me these. It's like clockwork. Every year I receive something from National Payment Services. I at first think to myself. O.K. that's not to bad- 10 dollars. But, after reading the responses from other people on google.com., I realized that it was a scam.
—Guest Jessica W.


They keep asking for $10.00 to receive a $12,000,000..really? Couldn't you take the fee out of the prize??
—Guest NotRaisedToBeAFool!


They mail me things that say send us 10 or 20 dollars for my prize. I think NOT!!

mercedes benz

I got an email from"UK" saying I won a promotion from Mercedes Benz and the money was in Natwest bank. Both places are real, but they won't transfer my million dollars to me until I send then fees (around $250). I emailed Mercedes Benz to let them know. Still a little of me hopes it is real.

Don't fall for this.

This was not on the internet. I received a letter in the mail from National Payment Services stating that they need $10.00 to process my claim for $20 million in the US Powerball. I have never bought a ticket for any lottery, because I simply can't spare the money. But now after reading these comments, well, I won't be sending them anything. Goodbye, 20 million.
—Guest Susan

sweeps via mail

Had me wondering for a while until I read some of the ways to identify a scam. I was a finalist in a million dollar sweepstake from Australia yet! I was asked to send a cheque, money order or credit card info for $10 to Process my order. Never heard about this outfit before- National Payment Services- wonder if anybody else has received the same?
—Guest Pat O

scam tipoff

Anything from Africa, England or India.....I just ignore. I have absolutely no sweeps entries or lottery contacts there so obviously don't expect to win anything from these contries. If they ask for money....well, just fugadaboutdit!
—Guest one2fish

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