‘You’re a winner,’ or have you just been scammed?

The Federal Trade Commission is issuing a new warning about prize scams.

Everyone loves to win, but if you get a notification that you’ve won a prize for a contest you never entered, it’s probably a scam.

The most recent data shows people reported losing $301 million to this type of fraud. That’s an average loss of $907 per person.

There are legitimate contests and prizes that follow the law and give real prizes, so spotting the scam can be difficult.

How to spot a scam:

  • Ask yourself, “Did I enter the sweepstakes or play this game? “If not, you absolutely didn’t win.
  • Another way to avoid being ripped off is don’t pay to get a prize, real prizes are free.
  • Also, anyone who asks you to pay a fee for “taxes,” or “shipping and handling,”, is a scammer.
  • Don’t give your financial information. There is absolutely no reason to ever give your bank account or credit card number to claim a prize.
  • Finally, don’t give your personal information. Scammers hope you’ll click on links that will take your personal information or download malware on your device. Delete the message without clicking on the links and don’t respond.

About the Author:

This Emmy Award-winning television, radio and newspaper journalist has anchored The Morning Show for 18 years.