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Friday, June 30, 2006

Scam of the Week: Sweepstakes "fees"

Scam_of_the_week_logo_black_and_white_2The Scam: 10 million mailed sweepstakes solicitations
The Targets: Anyone who might fall for these, esp. the elderly
The Hook
: Sweepstakes mailings that charge a $10-$25 "processing fee" have gone to more than 10 million homes, the U.S. Postal Service says. No actual prize was involved. No legitimate sweepstakes charges such a fee, inspectors said.
How to avoid being victimized: Ask yourself: Do the promoters ask for your credit card number or checking account? Do they sound urgent? Do they ask you to send money? Does the sweepstakes offer clearly state no purchase is necessary? If in doubt about the validity of a mailed offer, contact a postal inspector.

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