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Zoey_JD
Zoey_JD, Criminal attorney
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 23530
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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I would like to know if the following companies I have been

Customer Question

I would like to know if the following companies I have been dealing with and now say I have won millions of dollars (ha) are legitimate or not:
Premium Award Center
Financial Transfer Confirmation Center (sound familiar)
Money Disbursement Association
Mountain View Publishers (MVP)
National Mutual Aid Bureau
AIWC
NMA
Award Mail Offices (Processing of Individual-Payment Amount Dispensation)
MNA (of Farmingdale, N.Y. 11736)
This is only a few of the organizations (or third party distributors) I regularly receive mail from and now most are telling me I am THE WINNER 'confirmed' of many millions of dollars. I have been in touch with some of them for almost a year now and I won't send any more money to them. But now, they are saying I have won and I don't want to take the chance of losing if THEY ARE LEGITIMATE. Also, can you please tell me how I might go about telling the difference if they are scams or not. It seems to me that at least nine out of ten must be scams but that seems to be so very many and I just don't know what to believe anymore. Please help me in this matter. Thank you in advance.
Deborah Hammond
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Zoey_JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with your question.
None of these companies is legitimate and the only reason that they are contacting you is that you have been duped successfully in the past. That puts you on the scammer's short list. Scammers always come back to their victims for another bite of the apple. Additionally, they sell their sucker lists to other scammers.
It all comes down to the fact that the more you correspond with scammers, the more scammers you will hear from. The overwhelming majority of human beings go through our whole lives without winning millions of dollars. You have a better chance of being struck and killed by lightning than of winning just one of these types of contests.
Here are some basic facts that will help you:
If if you’d won a real contest, you wouldn't need to ask a question here. You'd have a lottery ticket with winning numbers on it if you entered a lottery, and you'd have your half of the sweepstakes entry with your numbers on it, if you entered a sweepstakes.
Scammers always want their victims to believe that you can win a contest you have never entered, but they are lying. You must always enter a contest to be able to win, and your ticket or your half of your original entry form is required verification when you go to claim your prize. A letter from the so-called contest isn't good enough. You need your proof of entry to collect.
The other thing they are lying about is any kind of an up-front fee. You never have to pay anything out of your own pocket when you win a real contest. The scammers will tell you it's for shipping or transfer fees, or insurance, or taxes, but there are never any such up front fees involved in a real contest.
Once you win a real contest, the money is already yours, and you don't have to pay anything at all for it. Any legitimate contest takes any expenses from your winnings and gives you a check for the rest, free and clear with no strings attached. An up front fee is the #1 sign of a scam.
If the contest sends you a check and tells you to deposit that and then wire money off to a third party, that's a scam too. It's just a ruse to hide the fact that this is an up front fee too. The check will be counterfeit, and you'll be sending the scammers your own money which will arrive before the check bounces. Then you'll be liable to the bank for the overdraft.
Again, when you really win a contest, all you have to do is present your proof of entry and identification at the contest's claim center and they hand you a check. There are no hoops to jump through or fees or taxes you must pay to the contest.
Also, there is no such thing as a legal international contest or sweepstakes. So any lottery or sweepstakes notification coming to you from outside of the US is also a fraud.
The fact is that any time you get an unsolicited out of the blue message with news that is much too good to be true, it is a scam, each and every time.
You can learn everything you need to know about fake contests here:
http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/lotteryscamnamesUV.php
Cease all contact with these scammers, send no more money. Report the fraud to the FBI at IC3.gov and to the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov.
We all get offers like this, but once you stop responding to these frauds, the fewer of these you will receive.