Metro

NY sweepstakes ‘prize’ nothing but a cruel grift and scam

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The check is in the scam!

New Yorkers are receiving letters trumpeting that they are winners of the “Supermarket Customer Sweepstakes Raffle Draw” — and their prize is a cool $880,000.

The congratulatory missive includes a realistic-looking first payment check of $8,000 and requests a processing fee of $7,000 to release the remaining “payout.”

But the golden ticket is nothing more than a tease and suckers who buy into the swindle also get stuck paying bank fees after the award check doesn’t clear.

The letter assures that a “bank certified cashier’s check for the [prize] is already purchased in your name and awaiting authorization for release.”

Don’t take the bait.

One big giveaway is that the dollar amounts don’t add up. In the first paragraph of the letter it says the windfall is $880,000.

Later on, under the heading of “Important Information,” the winning prize is listed as $960,000, with the first payment being the enclosed check of $7,998.23, with a final payment of $861,000 to come.

A letter from Team Quality Corporation Inc. promises to pay out $880,000 in prize cash as long as the recipient pays an installment fee of $7,000.
A letter from Team Quality Corporation Inc. promises to pay out $880,000 in prize cash as long as the recipient pays an installment fee of $7,000.

The letter advises the “winner” to call a claims manager and “protect your payout information to avoid delay or even voiding of your claim.”

So this one is too good to be true. Better off playing the lottery.

The state attorney general’s office has received 172 complaints about sweepstakes scams since 2019 and 46 in 2021, said Fabien Levy, an AG spokesman.

In the first nine months of 2021, the Federal Trade Commission received 3,856 complaints from New York consumers about “prize/sweepstakes/lottery scams,” said Jay Mayfield, an FTC spokesman. That’s a 30 percent spike from the 2,970 complaints lodged about these scams during the same time period in 2020, Mayfield said.

Nationally, in the first nine months of 2021, the FTC received 109,550 complaints from consumers about these scams compared to 86,897 complaints in the same time period in 2020 — a 26 percent increase.

A tell-tale sign that a sweepstakes contest is a scam is when “you have to pay to get your prize,” according to consumer tips put out by the FTC.

An 83-year-old Staten Island man alerted The Post to the fugazy “Final Payout Notice” when the letter came addressed to his late wife.

“I realized it was a scam in a New York minute,” the eagle-eyed resident said.

A pile of hundred dollar bills.
The Federal Trade Commission has received almost 1,000 more scam complaints from New Yorkers.
Christopher Sadowski

A parade of individuals railed about the raffle on the website scampulse.com. The sweepstakes company address is P.O. box in Ontario.

“Please do not fall for this scam. This was sent to my 85-year-old mother who thankfully runs these things by me. I wish we could find the people that do this and [prey] on our elderly and misinformed,” griped David Mceachern in a Nov. 12 post.

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