Don’t be taken in by con artists who pose as government officials and claim consumers have won what turns out to be a bogus sweepstakes prize. Although these scammers say they represent the Federal Trade Commission or some other government agency, the FTC would never call consumers on behalf of sweepstakes programs, and consumers should never send money up front just because someone promises them a prize.
Crooks often take advantage of Internet technology to make it seem that they are calling from Washington, DC, or the consumer’s hometown. They could be calling from anywhere in the world.
To learn more about how to avoid this type of scam, go to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt167.shtm.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.