You won something in a contest you don’t even remember entering but and then you’re asked to pay a small fee to collect it. What’s wrong with this picture?
How much did you say that prize will cost me? When you are asked to pay a fee to claim a prize you should think twice before paying. If you’ve thought about it twice and still want to claim that prize perhaps you should sit down, relax and think about it a third time. When you win something it’s completely free or else you haven’t won anything. The only time you might have to pay is on April 15th when you pay your taxes if the prize was big enough.
Let me say it one more time so that we are absolutely clear on the matter: If you win a prize or a sweepstakes or even a lottery and are asked to pay any kind of fee to claim that prize then you should immediately suspect the source.
I don’t even remember entering the contest in the first place
If you are told you won a car but have to pay a fee for processing it, or are told a certain amount of money is needed to register a free trip to Las Vegas with the vacation company or that the merchandise you won is free but it will cost you money to have it shipped, or you won money for a contest you don’t even remember entering, be wary.
Sure, lightning can strike. People do win the lottery but they usually have to buy a lottery ticket first. If you are told you won anything through email you should be extremely suspicious. There will no doubt be all sorts of clues ranging from someone asking you for your address and phone number which you usually submit when you enter contests to requests for credit card numbers or bank routing numbers. Don’t think that only idiots fall for this scam. People fall for this all the time.
If talk of something free turns into a request for your credit card number or banking information it’s probably a scam. Since when did free stuff cost money? Remember that if you’re ever contacted by someone claiming you won a prize or contest or sweepstakes.
Think before you give personal information out
Tip: If you don’t remember entering the sweepstakes someone is saying you’ve won, be suspicious of their intentions. All legitimate sweepstakes and contests will not require you to pay any fees to collect your prize. Most states have mandated that you can’t be forced to make a purchase in order to participate in contests. Anyone asking for personal information they should alread have or that you pay a fee to collect your prize should be considered a scammer. Proceed with caution!