Lottery SCAMs...and how to avoid them!

Lies, Fakery, Greed and Tomfoolery

A collection of mailed SCAMs

Quotations from a (4+ Red Flag rated) SCAM letter sent by: “Women 2 Women”

Please remember, the quotations below are from the SCAM letter of the “Women 2 Women” _not_ by mailscamalert.com.

“Dear First_Name,

Red Flag  # 1  “DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

“Upon learning that last months winner threw away S10,000.00 simply by failing to respond. I was astounded surprised and shocked that the person holding the WINNING NUMBER failed to collect their winnings.

“When you think about how easy it is to reply (all you need is a stamp), I really can’t understand why anyone (and I mean you) would pass up a chance to win $10,000.00. *** TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!!! ***

“PLEASE FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.

Image of Women 2 Women letterhead header

Red Flag  # 2  “The $10 000.00 Grand Prize has been approved for winner distribution () Yes ( ) No.

Red Flag  # 3  “This letter is intended to announce that we are in the final stage of processing for award of the Grand Prize. In recognition of your selection for this notification I certify that your name, First_Name Last_Name, and your VIP No. 26711 were submitted for winer pre-selection, and the $10,000.00 Grand Prize is now ready for disbursement.

Red Flag  # 4  “Follow all instructions contained herein. In that regard, the attached Prize Administration Form requires your immediate attention. First_Name, in accordance with the Official Rules regulating prize distribution the Grand Prize will be disbursed only when the person in possession of and returning the winning pre-selected S10,000.00 VIP Number replies by June 20, 2011. THAT’S WHY YOU MUST REPLY TODAY. I am positive you wouldn’t want to be the winner who simply failed to send in your Prize Administration Form and passed up $10,000.00.

Please remember, the quotations above and below are from the SCAM letter of the “Women 2 Women” _not_ by mailscamalert.com.

“I must tell you that this offer is a charitable sweepstakes to benefit Woman 2 Woman Breast Cancer Foundation and that a small gift of just $5, $7 or $10 from you will help in the fight against breast cancer. You must consider yourself very lucky if you or a family member has not been touched by breast cancer. Or, maybe you’re a breast cancer survivor. We all need to join in the fight and give to find a cure. Although giving is not required and will not increase your chances to win, [emphasis added] the need is very great. I hope $5 or $10 is not too much to ask.

“Bless you for caring,

Supposed image of Marketing Director signature

“Jacqueline R. Gray, CEO

“P.S. Should we be able to confirm that you are the winner, having replied on time, then the $10,000.00 will be delivered shortly after June 20th.

“DETACH AND RETURN THIS ENTRY WITH YOUR GENEROUS GIFT

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Back of letter

“Woman 2 Woman Breast Cancer Foundation is proud of its use of funds.

“A copy of the summary of the latest financial statement, or annual report, and registration filed by Woman 2 Woman Breast Cancer Foundation may be obtained by contacting us at 4850 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Suite 225, Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33313...Continues with addresses for several state where Women 2 Women has registered their financial information.

“SWEEPSTAKES FOR $10,000.00 GRAND PRIZE
OFFICIAL RULES
“NO CONTRIBUTION IS REQUIRED * CONTRIBUTION WILL NOT IMPROVE CHANCES OF WINNING

Please remember, the quotations above and below are from the SCAM letter of the “Women 2 Women” _not_ by mailscamalert.com.

  1. “Sponsor — this sweepstakes is sponsored by Woman 2 Woman Breast Cancer Foundation, 4850 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Suite 225, Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33313.
  2. Prizes — there are two Prizes:1) Grand Prize of $10,000.00, and 2) Bonus Prize of $100.00. Prizes are non-transferable and there are no substitutes.
  3. “Entry Instructions: — to enter with a donation, return the reply form in the enclosed envelope postage pre-paid postmarked before the entry deadline. To enter without donation, see instructions on reply form.
  4. “Prize Selection Process — 1) Grand Prize: the winning entry was randomly selected by an independent agency whose decision was final and binding before the promotion letters were mailed and was randomly seeded among mailed letters. If your eligible entry matches the pre-selected number, you will be notified that you have won the Grand Prize. 2) Bonus prize winner will be randomly selected from all qualifying entries.
  5. “Who is eligible — the sweepstakes is open to residents (18 years or older) of the United States and its possessions who receive the mailing. Employees, agents, vendors and staff of the Sponsor, Woman 2 Woman Breast Cancer Foundation, 4850 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Suite 225, Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33313, its advertising and promotional agencies, and sweepstakes administrator (and their household members) are not eligible to win. The entry form will not be honored if not mailed in the enclosed envelope with sufficient postage by the entry deadline.
  6. “Entry Deadline: — the deadline for mailing your entry is June 20. 2011. Postmark determines date of entry.
  7. “General — Sweepstakes void where prohibited by law. All federal, state and local regulations apply. Winners will be notified by mail. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these rules. Failure to comply with these or any other Official Rules will result in disqualification. Winner must sign and return an affidavit of eligibility, a liability release, and except where prohibited by law, a publicity release within 10 days of issuance of notification. If winner does not comply with the foregoing, or if a prize or prize notification is undeliverable, and/or if a selected winner does not comply with any portion of these Official Rules, such winner will be disqualified and, in the case of the Bonus Prize only, an alternate winner will be selected. Entrants agree that: 1) Sponsor shall have right and permission to use (if a winner) entrant’s name and city of residence for advertising, trade and/or other purposes in perpetuity without further compensation (unless prohibited by law); and 2) Sponsor, its advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents shall have no liability and will be held harmless by entrants for any liability, loss, injury or damage to entrants or any other person or entity relating to this sweepstakes. Taxes [are the] sole responsibility of winner. Sponsor and its agencies are not responsible for late, lost, or misdirected mail or any printing or technical errors or malfunctions of any kind, by any human error that may occur in the processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. If for any reason that corrupts or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes so that it is not capable of being conducted as described in these rules, Sponsor shall have the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Any person who supplies false information, enters by fraudulent means, or is otherwise determined to be in violation of these rules in an attempt to obtain any prize will forfeit any prize won. Entries become the property of the Sponsor and will not be returned.
  8. “Winners for the name of the Grand Prize winner, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Woman 2 Woman Breast Cancer Foundation, 4850 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Suite 225, Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33313 on or within 60 days after the entry deadline date.
  9. “Odds of Winning — 1) Grand Prize: the number of entry forms mailed determines the odds of winning. Your odds of winning will be no greater than 1 in 77,999. 2) Bonus Prize: Odds of winning the Bonus Prize are dependent upon the number of qualifying entries returned.
  10. “Creative Presentations — this sweepstakes may be mailed with different creative presentations. The pre-selected winning Grand Prize number has been selected from all entry numbers for all creative presentations, and the winning Bonus Prize number has been selected from all entries received for all creative presentations.
  11. “Mailing List Suppressions — if you do not wish to receive mailings of this type in the future please write to: Woman 2 Woman Breast Cancer Foundation, 4850 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Suite 225, Lauderdale Lakes, EL 33313.
  12. “If you would like to know more about this sweepstakes, you can find additional information at www sweenstakesconsumeraulde net.”

Please remember, the quotations above are from the SCAM letter of the “Women 2 Women” _not_ by mailscamalert.com.

Red Flag  # 1  What a nice thing for this SCAM to do for you; warning of the loss of $10,000! How can you not continue reading the letter?! Of course, that’s exactly why the ‘warning’ was used. A most important task of any SCAM is to gain your trust! You will be much more open to believing the rest of the letter if you feel you can trust the SCAMmer. (return to # 1 Red Flag above)

Red Flag  # 2  Since this SCAM has gained your trust, your excitement is stirred by reading that you have been ‘approved’ to win that exact same prize of $10,000! Well, you are not exactly a winner, yet. Keep reading carefully. (return to # 2 Red Flag above)

Red Flag  # 3  It doesn’t take long to see that what you read is not always exactly what was meant. We now see that you have not actually won anything, yet. You have only been “pre-selected” and that the prize “is now ready for distribution”. It may be tempting to think that this means you have won! Again, that’s exactly what this SCAM wants you to think, but please keep reading; very carefully.

Also included in the recipient’s envelope is a small sheet of paper with text on the back...

image of card with text saying the prize has not yet been won

The image may be too wide to be displayed on your device. Basically, the text states that there is actually no winner of the Grand Prize yet. That note simply says all the text suggesting some kind of “confirmation” is really only teasing you. (return to # 3 Red Flag above)

Red Flag  # 4  Once again, we find the classic “act-immediately” request by practically all SCAMs. And nowhere is it more appropriate; this “charity” has so many red flags at so many sites, it is amazing that they are still operating. On the other hand, they are probably kept in business because they are such a “cash-cow” for the company that has the fund raising contract. That company takes 90% of any funds raised! Here are a couple of links to reports by others on this SCAM:

Please read the last paragraph of the BBB report showing the failure of Women2Women to provide complete information on finances and solicitation materials. (return to # 4 Red Flag above)

One of the states where Women2Women listed their financial information is Washington. The Washington Secretary of State lists the following info as of Oct 31, 2010:

Beginning Assets $ 2,336 According to the financial information shown at left, this organization devoted 3% of its total expenses to program services during the year reported. That is certainly a red flag, in my opinion.
Revenue 6,490,451
Program Services 199,707
Total Expenses 6,462,627
Ending Assets $ 67,733
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