Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX for the additional information.
I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.
As you know, something which is too good to be true is, generally, not. Also, I am sure you suspect this is one of those times. Unfortunately, I am absolutely sure that there is no prize waiting for you from these people. We see this scenario, or similar ones, dozens of times a day.
This is positively a scam. It is known as an "Advance Fee Scam". They will continue to come up with bogus fees that you need to pay to release the "winnings" until you finally stop. Then, they will disappear.
1. You can not win a sweepstakes or lottery you did not enter.
2. No legitimate sweepstakes asks winners to pay upfront to release the winnings.
3. No legitimate lottery or sweepstakes notifies major winners by text, email or regular mail.
4. If they were genuinely holding money belonging to you should be able to tell them to just deduct the taxes, insurance
, courier fee (all red flags, by the way) and send you a net check.
Do not send any more money or otherwise respond. They are trying to steal from you.
I am sorry. I realize this is not the answer you were hoping for. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's position, but accurately reflects their position under the facts presented. I hate it, but it happens and I ask that you not penalize me for having to deliver less than favorable news.
It is my privilege to assist you. Let me know if you need further information. I hope I have helped you beyond your expectations in the service I have provided to you. I am here for you.
Please remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested.
If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will happily answer your follow-up questions and assist you until I am able to explain the answer to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to your situation, so please do not penalize me for having to deliver bad news.