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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 20299
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs exp with Consumer Law issues
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I was told I won some money and that I needed to put up

Customer Question

I was told I won some money and that I needed to put up money to get it certified before I would be able to receive it or at least it was to ensure that the taxes were already paid and I would not have to in the future. I am wondering if this is legit or a scam?
JA: What state is this in? And just to clarify, when exactly were you notified?
Customer: The award is from Las Vegas Sweepstakes network. I was notified about a week ago once I returned a call stating I had won a prize. I call the center and was told to contact the brokerage to get the details. But before I did I got two days of calls from a Special Federal Agent that said I needed to call and talk to him about the new laws. He stated that there were procedures to follow ie, insurance and certification for it to be legit in the eye of the irs etc. I am in Washington State.
JA: Have you contacted the manufacturer?
Customer: I don't know how. I was just told it was from Las Vegas Sweepstakes that I had won it back in Nov. 16 of 2015 and that I should have, but didn't receive notice in the mail and that is why I was called on the phone.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Should I get any information from him before giving any money or is it the law now that I have to pay for insurance and certifications to receive money I supposedly won.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 9 months ago.


Thank you for the information and your question. Sadly, I have to tell you that this is a very common scam. There are NO legitimate sweepstakes, or contests, that will ever ask you to pay any fees or taxes up front in order to receive your winnings. Any legitimate contest will always just take any taxes from your winnings before issuing them to you. The other way to know that this is a scam is if you won a contest you never entered and if they are asking you to send money in some way other than a bank check or credit card (for example Western Union or Green Dot).

You can read more about these types of scams and how to report them by going to the Federal Trade Commissions site at:

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 9 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 1st. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit(paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating,please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.