Many people feel that there’s nothing to lose and maybe lots to gain by entering contests offered by mail or phone. Some contests may look attractive because of their promise of big prizes. But, there’s a risk that you might become the victim of a contest con. While there are many legitimate contests, there are also many which are not.
Most contests are little more than elaborate ways to get you to buy a product…a year’s supply of vitamins…a water purifier…or something else that you would not ordinarily buy. The promise of a prize is simply to get you interested in their offer. After making the purchases, the contestant then finds out that he or she didn’t qualify for the big prize…and has to settle for a prize of much less value. The best advice is to recognize the game…and that you won’t be getting something for nothing.
Watch out for requests to send money to claim your prize—this may be a scam because national sweepstakes contests generally do not require an advance fee to claim the prize.
Call the Consumer Resource Center at 587-4272, if you are caught in a contest con and wish to file a complaint. But, remember, it’s hard to recoup losses in a contest con situation. Avoid offers in the marketplace that sound too good to be true, because they probably aren’t.