by Susan Tompor
Just when you think the red flags relating to a scam should be pretty clear, you hear more troubling reports when it comes to sweepstakes and gift cards.
All the buzz about the Mega Millions jackpot – and the one winning ticket sold in South Carolina that captured a prize worth nearly $1.6 billion – could trigger even more related scams.
What’s a big sign of a sweepstakes scam?
The catch is usually this: You must send money for taxes – or buy some products – before receiving that incredible sweepstakes or lottery prize.
The end result: You only lose money, you don’t win anything.
Nearly a half-million people reported some sort of lottery- or sweepstakes-related fraud to enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada in the last three years. Reported losses totaled $117 million in 2017, according to a Better Business Bureau report.
The actual number of victims and losses is likely much larger, as many victims are too embarrassed to report it, according to experts.
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