Sweepstakes Fraud Factsheet

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Sample Letters

Home

A Case Study

Sample Envelopes

Sample Letters

A New Twist - Here's a Check!

The Prize You Win

The Canadian connection

The Swiss Connection

The Psychic Connection

What can victims do?

Known Scammers

Additional Links

The Bottom Line

Below are some sample letters that were received by one victim.

  1. Like the envelopes, all of these mailings look official. They are plastered with words that try to make you think that this is a one-of-a-kind notification of prize winnings.  Notice words like personal, confidential, private, inspected, filed, dated, etc.

  2. Many of them use eye-catching words relating to money, like check, monies, disbursement, financial, etc.

  3. With one notable exception, a mailing from Switzerland, every letter has fine print somewhere that tells you:

    • You have not won a prize, or that the cash prize you have won is $1.00

    • This is a commercial solicitation to sell you lists of sweepstakes to enter.

    • This is a commercial offer to sell you merchandise.

Sample 1    Sample 2    Sample 3    Sample 4    Sample 5    The Bottom Line

Sample No. 1

See the word WINNER in big letters?  Right below it is says "Wanworth Instructive Nationwide Network Entry Report", the first letters of which, if you hadn't noticed, spell W.I.N.N.E.R.  This is a "Winner" Report from the Winner Offices.

Do you feel like a winner yet?  If you do, you'll end up a loser.

Looks official.  Looks important.  Looks personalized.  This letter is pure trash. Throw it into the recycle bin!

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Sample No. 2

Looks like you've got an Express Mail () delivery waiting for you.  Look at those fantastic prizes you seem to have "won".

Look closely. The highlighted prize is a 10 pt. (point) CZ and Sapphire pendant, nested in there with all those other desirable goods.  You don't need to do the research: CZ is cubic zirconia, or in other words, glass.  One point is 1/100 of a carat, or in other words, you get a pendant with teeny-tiny phony diamonds and perhaps a couple of itty-bitty sapphires... total value about a buck.

The fine print on the back of the letter tells you that this is a purchase, not a gift;  it also tells you that the odds of purchasing the pendant are 1:1 (this means absolute certainty), while the odds of purchasing the other items are 1:75,000.  Even a crooked slot machine gives better odds than this.

And it will only cost you $9.97 plus postage.

Are you feeling like a winner yet?

This letter is pure trash.  Throw it into the recycle bin!

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Sample No. 3

Wow!  A letter from T.R. Price and Associates.  The sleazeballs are hoping you think it's from T. Rowe Price (), the financial group... but it's not.

You're guaranteed to be a cash winner.  Look at the prize amounts, with that little $1.00 (highlighted) stuck between $250 and $100 where they hope you won't notice it.

Any guesses as to how much your prize is?  Is that your final answer?  That good old one-dollar check will only cost you $9.99, or $12.99 if you want it by rush delivery.

This letter is pure trash.  Throw it into the recycle bin!

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Sample No. 4

This one is most interesting.  First, it's from Canada, but the seal looks very American, and it's from the U.S. Notification Office.

Second, the "claim form" is an exact duplicate of the HCFA 1500 form (Health Care Financing Administration), which is what your doctor uses to file your insurance claims.

This letter is pure trash.  Throw it into the recycle bin!

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Sample No. 5

Intercontinental Transport Services in Canada has a parcel for you, but they can't deliver it until they confirm your address.  The package contains consumer electronics with maximum declared value of $5,000.00.  All you have to do is send $14.95 for shipping and your parcel will be delivered.

The letter is designed to make you think you are receiving - for the small shipping fee - a large electronic appliance. Read the fine print on the back, and you'll find out you're agreeing to purchase a cheap auto-scan radio.

You can't get any more deceptive than this!

This letter is pure trash.  Throw it into the recycle bin!

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Remember:

See how official all of these letters look?  There are hundreds more, all in different sizes, shapes, and colors;  they come with cards, flyers, payment schedules for your millions of dollars, stickers to validate your entry, and on and on.  Send your money now, don't delay.  What you'll get back is a list of contests to enter, or cheap merchandise.  Be smart!  Keep your hard-earned money!

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