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Beware of “Sweepstakes Scams”

Planning a cross country move? Beware of scams.
Planning a cross country move? Beware of scams.
Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 2:24 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Fargo Police Department is sharing some information from the Federal Trade Commission about sweepstakes scams.

You get a call from someone who says they’re from Publishers Clearing House or some other well-known organization. They say, “Congratulations, you’ve won a million dollars, a Mercedes-Benz, and seven thousand dollars a week for life!” or some other amazing sounding prizes. Then they ask you to pay a “processing fee,” “taxes,” or “shipping and handling charges,” to claim your prize.

The scammers are trying to push you into a heightened emotional state, to knock you off balance just long enough to steal your money and personal information.

The fact is, Publishers Clearing House never notifies winners in advance.

Consider these tips to avoid this scam:

Legitimate sweepstakes don’t make you pay a fee to get your prize. That includes paying “taxes,” “shipping and handling charges,” or “processing fees.” There’s also no reason to give someone your checking account or credit card number in response to a sweepstakes promotion.

Don’t send money transfers or gift cards, or give personal information. Sending money transfers or gift cards (or providing the gift card numbers) is like sending cash: once the money’s gone, you can’t trace it or get it back. The same goes for sending money by mail or using a money order.

Don’t trust your caller ID. Scammers can make any name or number show up on your caller ID. They might use an official-sounding name like Publishers Clearing House or Reader’s Digest.

If you’d like to report this scam, click here.

Copyright 2020 KVLY. All rights reserved.

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