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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Scammers Use Fake Sweepstakes to Steal Cash

Any prize that requires a processing fee or personal financial information is a scam. Con artists are trying to convince Arkansans that they have won a sweepstakes or lottery but in order to get the prize, they must pay a fee or fill out a form to provide banking information for the scammer to “deposit the money.”

“A legitimate prize should never cost a consumer money,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Consumers need to be cautious when receiving unsolicited phone calls or emails. Arkansans work hard for their money and these criminals continue to plot to find ways to steal it. We should all remain vigilant in protecting our money and privacy.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help consumers spot one of these scams:

  • Consumers should not try to collect winnings from a sweepstakes they do not remember entering.
  • Never give out personal financial information.
  • Do not pay money up front in an attempt to claim a prize.
  • Always remember, if it looks or seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
  • Scammers often use the name of legitimate businesses, like Publishers Clearinghouse, or a similar name to trick consumers into turning over their information.

Consumers should ignore all unsolicited sweepstakes prizes and immediately contact the Attorney General’s Office to report the call or email. When money is wired, especially to a foreign country, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to get it returned.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.govor visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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