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Free Prize Scam

Have you ever been notified—by mail or email—of a free prize that you’ve won through a lottery? The notice might say you’ll receive one of several valuable items—a new car, a vacation, or a TV. But when the scammer contacts you, they use high-pressure, sophisticated sales techniques to get you to send them money, invariably paying for the “free” item. Scammers may also ask you to order merchandise or pay shipping, handling, or processing fees to collect the prize. In most cases, the amount you pay will exceed the true monetary value of the item, if you receive one at all. If you’ve been affected by a free prize scam, you’re not alone. Countless Americans have lost thousands of dollars to unscrupulous promoters.

Read the Fine Print (Sweepstakes Scam)

Guaranteed prizes are not what they seem. Watch to learn more about sweepstakes scams.

Protect Yourself From Free Prize Scams

  • Stay vigilant

    While some major stores may give away expensive items in special promotions, they rarely notify winners by postcard or email.

  • Trust your gut

    Be suspicious of offers that are so good, you can’t believe they’re possible.

Have You Witnessed This Scam?

If you’ve been affected by a free prize scam and the U.S. Mail® has been used in any way, we want to help. Please report the crime.

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