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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 20029
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs exp with Consumer Law issues
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Is the USA Departmental Stores Sweepstake Lotteryheld on June

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Is the USA Departmental Stores Sweepstake Lotteryheld on June 12th 2012 actual or a fraud? I rexceived a check which looks real for $4,685 and am supposed to contact my Claims Agent at 011-34-603-127-839 by the name of XXXXX XXXXX to "start Your Claim Processing and to Activate Your Check" for $250,000.

Thank you for the information and your question. I can say with virtual certainty that this is a scam. There are a few indicators here that it is. First and foremost, if you are receiving notice that you won a lottery or sweepstakes that you didn't actually enter, it is a scam. There is no such thing as winning something you don't enter. Secondly, and most importantly for your protection, there is no legitimate sweepstakes or lottery that will make you forward money to them, for any reason, before they pay out your winnings.

I can tell you that this "check" you receive, which I am guessing is for you to deposit and then pay "taxes, fees, handling, etc." is fake. However, it is a good enough fake where the bank personnel cannot tell and will accept it on deposit. Then they will credit your account as required by law and you will write a check or send a money order or bank draft, or some form of payment, to whoever the "sweepstakes" tells you that payment goes to out of the "check" funds you think you have. Unfortunately though within days, your bank and then you will be told by the Federal Reserve Check Clearing House, that the check was fake. By then the scammers have your money and they have moved on to another victim.

So, you do not want to deposit this alleged check and forward any money so that you can get your alleged winnings and may want to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (if you received the fake check in the mail) so that they can pursue criminal charges against these people.

You can find out more about these types of scams and how to file a complaint with the FTC by going to:

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions for me.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions; and if you do, I ask that you please keep in mind that I do not know what you may already know or with what you need help, unless you tell me.

Kindly rate me based solely on my assistance to you in understanding the law, and not based on whether my answer is what you were hoping to hear. I, unfortunately, have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation, and I trust that you can understand how it would be unfair for me to be punished by a (negative rating) ----the first 2 stars/faces----for having been honest with you about the law. Please reply to me and let me know if you are having difficulty with the rating system or even seeing it. Thank you.

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