Cindy and Ken Walby became worried when Cindy’s 90-year-old mom started getting swamped with sweepstakes offers in the mail.
They promised cash prizes if she answered a "skills question" and sent the answer back with a check. For $9 to $12 and the correct answer, Cindy’s mom could advance to the next level to win tens of thousands of dollars, or so the letter claimed.
Cindy says her mom suffers from dementia. The Walbys said their mom is not paying important bills like her home’s property tax in hopes of winning a cash prize.
"I’m not going to do it because I won this money. I won this 15,000. I'm just waiting to have them put that into my bank account,” said Ken Walby.
No Prize, Just More Requests for Money
But the money never arrives, just more sweepstakes, and more requests for money.
The offers come from what appears to be different companies. But the Better Business Bureau says many of these offers com from affiliated firms. In some cases, the company sells names to other shady sweepstakes firms, who then send out offers of their own.
However, it is illegal to charge money to enter a Sweepstakes, under FTC rules.
How can you stop these? You may need to intervene, and screen their mail, if it's an older relative.
The AARP suggests people who want their names removed from mailing lists can block some of these offers if they go to www.dmachoice.org The AARP says the website is similar to the no call list, only for direct mail.
As always, don't waste your money.
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