The Sweepstakes Scam: How it Works?

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Who wouldn’t like to win hundreds, if not millions, of cash or the opportunity to go on a luxurious vacation? Several reputable sweepstakes and contests are available, and the prospect of winning a fantastic reward can be very appealing. Con artists understand this and take advantage of your enthusiasm to earn that big check or dream trip.

Sweepstakes and lottery fraud have been around for a long time and are still prevalent. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 148,000 allegations of prize, sweepstakes, and lottery fraud in 2021, a 27 percent increase from the previous year. Victims lost a total of $255 million.

The first point of contact in a sweepstakes scam is usually a phone call, an email, a social media announcement, or direct mail congratulating the winner of some huge prize. However, there is a catch: they will require you to pay a fee, taxes, or customs charges to receive your prize.

Do you think that these can’t be true in 2022? You’re mistaken. Let’s read the story of a widowed woman who lost her savings in a sweepstakes scam.

Mary, a widow in her 70s who had previously instructed in financial planning, now led a tranquil life. But she believed things were about to change when a letter from American Sweepstakes informed her that she had won over $5.5 million. Moreover, they advised her to contact Robert Carson to arrange for the prize to be delivered. 

This request is the first step in sweepstakes scams. They will call you, email you or send you a letter regarding the winning. They will use trusted information and authentication to make you believe they are reliable.

A former financial planner, Mary also searched for these kinds of authentication. But money makes people blind. Mary fell into the trap. She contacted Robert, who congratulated her and informed her that she had to pay roughly $25,000 in taxes to receive the money.

He didn’t convince her, but Robert persuaded her. Robert tried to make her convinced about authenticity and trust. He also answered all the questions confidently and with information. However, she warned him as she transferred the money: “Robert if this is a hoax, I’m going to tell you now. If it’s the last breath I have, buddy, you will get burned.”

That can come off as an empty threat to certain people. People like Robert always have a plan to escape after their pursuit execute. Robert also did the same. These gangs or organizations have a big group of networks, making them untraceable and uncatchable.

Mary, however, never made promises she wasn’t going to keep. After getting scammed, she collected all the proof and information to go after the scammer. But she did not know the actual scenario. When she submitted her report to the local police, they took the report and informed her to wait for their investigation. After several days, she did not get any reply. She also tried contacting the FBI, but they were busy with other cases.

Mary was devastated as she had nothing to do. She was searching for a solution and found Report Scammed Bitcoin with a helping hand. When Mary contacted Report Scammed Bitcoin and report a scam, we took her case seriously and understood that the FBI should handle this case. We use our contact with the FBI and make them agree to abide by the patient. They transferred the case to agent Frank Gasper.

For years, Gasper pursued organized crime gangs from the New York office. Then, he and his wife went to North Dakota in 2010 for a change of scenery, where he worked in a tiny FBI office in Bismarck.

Gasper quickly looked into a significant sweepstakes fraud connected to a gang in Jamaica from that seemingly random location. The same group was responsible for Mary’s money theft. Over several years, Gasper interviewed over 90 victims in the case, including Mary. From $199 to $850,000 was lost by them. One victim of fraud committed suicide. 

While Gasper was trying to solve the case, we updated our list of scammers with the organization’s name. We always maintain several lists of scammers on our website in different categories. You can find Scam Brokers Backlist, investment blacklists, forex scammer lists, cryptocurrency scammer lists, unauthorized brokers by FCA, HYIP blacklists, and other types of scammer lists too.

You can always check the list to get updated on the new scammer. We also have a blog section discussing several scam topics, tips to protect your money from being scammed, and new types of scams such as pig-butchering scams, crypto giveaway scams, discord crypto giveaway scams, cash app giveaway scams, etc.

It was challenging to solve. A lead on Melinda Bulgin, a money mule detained after trying to board a trip to Jamaica with $15,000 cash for gang members, gave Gasper a break, though. This lead aided the FBI in locating numerous offenders operating JOLT scams related to telecommunications operations in Jamaica. The FBI ultimately took 27 individuals into custody. 

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    At their trial, Mary gave testimony. She declared, “I’m determined that people of this caliber will pay the price. Mary received the letter from the kingpin, Laverick Willocks, 29, four years later, was sentenced to six years in federal prison. The court sentenced Bulgin to four years. Gasper, recently retired from the bureau, said, “If people like these call you, you haven’t won anything; hang up the phone. Don’t be nice. Just hang up the phone.” 

    Remember, if you win a prize, you have to participate in a competition, which you should remember. But if you get a call that you have won a bonus that you don’t know, then you should understand that money is not real. Be safe and alert. If you get scammed, report it to us. We have connections and helping hands that will help you to recover stolen funds.

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