Sunday, April 17, 2011 Exposes Scammers Posing as FTC Employees, Promising Phony Sweepstakes Prizes warns consumers to take precaution to avoid falling victim to FTC Sweepstakes Scam

In a recent surge of phone scams, a scam that involves fraudsters impersonating FTC employees has surfaced. helps identify con artists who claim to work for the Federal Trade Commission and are making calls to innocent Americans informing them that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes. The imposter goes on to tell their victim in order to claim the prize money; all they have to do is wire the money or send a check to pay the taxes and insurance associated with the winning sum.

Some callers posing as sweepstakes officials might try and convince consumers that the FTC is supervising or is somehow affiliated with the giveaway. He or she might even use the name of a real FTC employee, or your caller ID might display the FTC’s name or a Washington, DC area code, but don’t be fooled.

No matter how convincing the caller may be, no FTC employee will ever call to solicit citizens to send money. Unfortunately, many consumers and their families have already fallen for this scam, sent money and lost it before realizing it was fraudulent. urges consumers not to send money or personal or financial information, and to immediately report the incidents to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at

Here’s a few precautions that can help individuals avoid financially destructive sweepstakes scams:-

1. Don’t pay upfront to collect sweepstakes or lottery winnings - Genuine sweepstakes or lotteries don’t require payment for “insurance,” “taxes,” or “shipping and handling charges” upfront to collect a prize.

2. Keep an eye out for imposters - It’s illegal to lie about an affiliation or an endorsement as it relates to a government agency or business. Fraudulent companies sometimes use a variant of a nationally recognized agency, organization or business to try to confuse consumers into falling for their scams.

3. Verify the phone number - Ask for a phone number, address and any other contact information, then use that information to look them up on  If there is a discrepancy, look up the real number for the entity and cross-reference by calling and asking them about the call. For instance the phone number lookup results for Delaware can be found at VerifyPhone – Delaware.

4. File a formal complaint with the FTC - If a consumer receives a call from someone claiming to be a government representative with instructions to assist in the process of collecting supposed sweepstakes winnings, immediately file a complaint at or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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