Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Beware of the Sweepstakes Game

  • Don't buy just to increase your chances of winning;
  • If you must play, enter without buying anything;
  • The odds of winning are AT LEAST 200 million to one;
  • Ask the company to remove you from their mailing lists;
  • Toss Sweepstakes Mailers in the garbage.


Is Someone You Know Playing the Sweepstakes Game?

Red Flags:

  • Stacks of sweepstakes mail proclaiming them a "guaranteed winner" or offering lottery tickets for sale;
  • Unusual number of packages on hand containing inexpensive costume jewelry, plastic cameras or wristwatches;
  • Lists near the phone detailing out prizes they’ve won;
  • Telephone calls offering "fantastic" opportunities to claim prizes or make sure-fire investments.

Take Action:

  • Talk to the Person. Don’t Lecture. Fraud victims may resist being criticized or humiliated and can easily reject your good advice;
  • Ask them to compare the actual value of prizes they’ve won with the money they’ve spent;
  • Remind them the person on the other end of the line, no matter how charming, may be a crook;
  • Offer to pick up their mail to verify the sweepstakes offers they are receiving; offer to change their phone to a new, unlisted number;
  • Report any victimization to the Attorney General’s Office, the nearest postal inspector, or the local police.

To get more information about sweepstakes fraud or to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office call: (800) 551-4636

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