Thousands of American consumers participate in sweepstake/lottery promotions each year. However, if you are contacted by an individual and asked to pay to be a part of a sweepstake/lottery or pay to receive a prize then the sweepstakes/lottery is a scam. You should never have to pay to enter a sweepstakes and you will never be charged a fee if you win a sweepstakes.
A good thing to remember about sweepstakes and lottery promotions is if you did not make the first contact or physically sign up for a promotion and someone contacts you about being a winner then the promotion is fake. How can you win something or participate in a sweepstakes/lottery promotion if you did not sign up for it?
A normal pattern with sweepstakes/lottery fraud winners is that the “promoter” will continue to call back if a victim gives even the smallest amount of money. The additional calls will be requests for more money to cover expenses, taxes, etc.
If you are in doubt about a sweepstakes/lottery promotion ask the caller to mail you the information and explain to them that once you receive some documentation and research the promotion you will get in touch with them. Remember to ask for a name and telephone number. If the telephone number is from another country then it is not a real promotion. It is illegal to participate in foreign lottery promotions by mail or telephone.