Sweepstakes scams often begin with a letter in the mail that claims something like, "you could be a winner already," or "congratulations, you have made it into the final round." Millions of Americans receive these sweepstakes in the mail, whether it is the famous Publishers Clearing House or some other contest. These companies are hoping that you will buy whatever products they are offering, whether it be some kind of literature, novelty items, clothing, etc.
However, these companies frequently do not try to sell those products directly, but rather sell the chance of winning massive amounts of money. In doing so, some of these companies have crossed the line between lawful sales practices and consumer fraud. The following are various illegal methods used by companies to get consumers to participate in the sweepstakes and in the process spend money on their products:
In the past, lawsuits and class action suits have been filed against Publishers Clearing House, Reader's Digest Association, United States Purchasing Exchange, and Time Inc. Some of these have been settled with payouts to consumers in the millions.
If you feel you have spent money toward products because you thought it would give you a better chance at winning the sweepstakes, or feel you have been unfairly tricked into thinking you have won a sweepstakes contest, you may want to consult a consumer fraud attorney. Your attorney will be able to advise you of your rights and let you know if you may be entitled to money damages in a lawsuit against the company.
Last Modified: 01-17-2014 11:17 AM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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