Lottery SCAMs...and how to avoid them!

Lies, Fakery, Greed and Tomfoolery

A collection of mailed SCAMs

Quotations from a SCAM letter sent by: “North Shore Animal League”

Please remember, the quotations below are from the SCAM letter from the “North Shore Animal League” _not_ by mailscamalert.com.

“CONGRATULATIONS
“MISS First_Name Last_Name

“You have won a prize in our sweepstakes.

Image of winning sticker

“Dear Miss First_Name Last_Name,

“My name is Mary Walsh and I am a member of the Sweepstakes Award Committee. It is part of my job to help award the prizes that will be given away in the Lucky Streak Sweepstakes.

“The reason I am writing to you today is that our records indicate that you are one of our winners in the Lucky Streak Sweepstakes from Your_State.

“Arrangements have already been made to deliver your prize to Your_address. But in order to release it, we need to hear from you right away.

“To confirm receipt of this notice, and to release your prize, simply sign the Signature form at right, detach it and return it along with your Winner Claim Form.

“As a small prize winner, you are also eligible to be entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize of $25,000.00, paid in one lump sum. If you’re selected as our Grand Prize Winner...

A check for the sum of $25,000.00 CASH
will be written out to Miss Last_Name
.

“Just think what you could do with the money. Pay off your bills. Treat the family to a vacation. Buy that special gift. Save it and watch it grow. It’s your choice. But first you’ve got to GUARANTEE your eligibility for the $25,000.00 Grand Prize, plus a chance to win additional cash prizes.

Please remember, these quotations are from the SCAM letter from the “North Shore Animal League” _not_ by mailscamalert.com.

“Important: $25,000.00 UPC Gold Seal Instructions

“Here’s why you needed to read this letter carefully before removing the $25,000.00 UPC Seal on the reverse side. To guarantee your eligibility for a chance to win the $25,000.00 cash, you must detach the Gold Seal, affix it in the space provided on your Winner Claim Form. Then return it in the courtesy envelope provided.

“Here’s more good news...

“Your personal Jumbo Bucks game card is enclosed. Scratch the money bags to reveal numbers. When your amount beats our amount, you’re eligible for a chance to win that amount -- up to $15,000.00 CASH!

Make no mistake - you’re positively guaranteed to receive any and all prizes to which you’re entitled. No strings attached. I only hope that when you return your Winner Claim Form that you will help to give our homeless pets another chance at life by making a voluntary tax-deductible contribution to our animal shelter. No purchase or contribution is necessary to enter or win and a purchase or contribution does not increase your chances of winning.

“Recently, we celebrated our 65th Anniversary. Over sixty-five rewarding years of saving lost and abandoned dogs and cats since we began in 1944. I wish I could tell you that we already have enough money to care for all these homeless pets. But the sad truth is we desperately need your help, especially with today’s economy.

“In spite of our tireless efforts, it is a constant battle to raise the money needed to save all the animals that pass through our doors each year. We don’t destroy them. We won’t destroy them.

“It costs over $5 a week to help provide care and shelter for each pet. Won’t you please make a tax-deductible contribution?

“I’ve sent you everything you need to enter and win. The rest is up to you. We’ll be watching for your reply, so be sure to respond by the deadline date.

Supposed image of Mary Walsh signature

Please remember, these quotations are from the SCAM letter from the “North Shore Animal League” _not_ by mailscamalert.com.

P.S. Act fast and you could win again — a free TV or $150.00. Plus, Fast 50 winners have 1 in 50 odds at $1,000.000 cash. To be eligible for these prizes you must beat the deadline.

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“Grand Prize Notice and Claim Form

$ 25,000.00

GRAND PRIZE NOTICE

Issued To:

MISS First_Name Last_Name

You have already been selected to win a merchandise prize.

More on the “merchandise prize” later.

Return Claim Form below and your Signature Form to release you prize and be eligible for a chance to win the $25,000.00 Grand Prize.

“If you return your winner Claim Form and it is selected for the Grand Prize.

MISS First_Name Last_Name WILL RECEIVE $25,000.00

Please remember, the quotations above are from the SCAM letter from the “North Shore Animal League” _not_ by mailscamalert.com.


This group claims to be a support for animals. You’ll be hard pressed to find any direct mention of that in this letter, however. Their primary goal in the letter is to get you to send them money. And they are spending quite a bit of what you send them for that very purpose. The following link will show you how much they spend on actually helping animals and how much they spend just on raising money and paying for the six-figure salary of their President.

I’d say if you’re really interested in helping a real charity that is interested in animals, almost any others listed on the Charity Navigator site would be better.

So, this is not actually a “Notice” that anyone has won the Grand Prize...it’s simply a “Notice” that the RECIPIENT will be ELIGIBLE TO WIN that prize, IF, and ONLY IF the Winner Claim Form is returned AND one is then selected from everyone else who followed those requirements.
In other words, this “Notice” is nothing more than the presentation of the rules for the contest. And, don’t forget to return that Signature Form, also.

Let’s look at the rules for those “ACT FAST” prizes. The letter says to simply look at the rules for that part of the contest. And where might those rules be? They don’t appear in the letter nor on any of the various inserts. There are mentions of them, including a crude drawing of a TV set and cash bundle. But, where are those rules?!

I finally found the rules by taking the delivery envelope apart! I suppose that was just a money-saving way to do it? Had to pay for those envelopes, anyway. Might as well make use of the wasted space inside them! It’s always a good idea to read all the rules for any contest but I’ve never seen one that makes it so difficult to actually find them. From now on, I’ll be looking at the inside of all envelopes!

Now that we know where the rules are, there’s quite a bit of interesting reading on other subjects. Since you are told that you are definitely the winner of a “small merchandise prize”, I found it informative to see that the prize has a “retail value of $ 2.50. Odds of winning a guaranteed prize are 1 in 1.” Well, of course, the odds are 1 in 1! That’s what guaranteed means! There’s really no “contest” much less any “odds” for that “prize”, everyone will get one! DOH!

Now, back to that “Fast Act” contest: First, the name, in the rules section calls this a “FAST 50” contest. The rules explain that there are actually two different contests every three months. One contest will be for a color TV or “merchandise of equivalent value (approximate retail value: $ 150.00 ea.)” At that value, I’m not sure what will be in color: it may simply mean the TV box will be blue or red or...! By the way, the odds of winning one of these fabulous TVs are “no greater than 1 in 30,000.” Note that you will need to enter a new contest every three months.

Now, the odds for winning the additional $ 1,000.00 are quite good! Those odds are 1 in 50! But in order to even be elegible, you have to have been a winner of one of those 50 color TVs (or an equivalent valued merchandise item). Once again, those are awarded every three months in separate drawing. Don’t be discouraged and skip a contest!

The North Shore Animal League may be a fine organization. It may be doing great work by providing care for animals in need. But it’s deceptive and costly “contests“ leave a stain on their reputation, as far as I’m concerned. You can investigate them further at: Charity Navigator.org

If you are wondering how you may have been selected to become one of their “winners” (which, in reality, is everyone to whom they send a letter), you might want to contact them or one or more of the Direct Mail list providers with which they have done business:


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