Iowa Consumers: Beware of Common Sweepstakes Scams

Whether it is defective products, fake checks, advance fee loans, credit card insurance fraud, or some other type of financial scam, it seems as if there is always someone or some company looking to make money at someone else's expense.

How do you know what is and what isn't a financial scam in Iowa?

There are certain scams that have been talked about so much in the news that most people are aware of or could spot the signs before becoming a victim. An example of a popular scam may include someone you know traveling outside the country and needs you to wire money. This scam typically presents itself in the form of an email. Before wiring money, call your friend or the person the email supposedly came from to confirm their story. More likely than not, your friend's email was hacked.

Because that scam has been around a long time and most people know about it, consumers typically don't fall victim to it. However, some financial fraud scams in Iowa are not always easy for consumers to spot. This is why it is important for you to be vigilant and take precautions in order not to become a victim of a financial scam in Iowa.

Some financial fraud scams that are harder to recognize are sweepstakes scams and prize promotion fraud. This could be because everyone wants to believe that they are finalists or have won money or the big prize.

These prize-related scams may ask you to send money to cover shipping and handling or other incidental costs, in order for the company to process your prize. Or, they may imply that you can increase your chances of winning money or prizes if you purchase something.

By law, purchasing something cannot increase your chances of winning sweepstakes. If you pay the money in order to become eligible for the prize, you will get ripped off and will see nothing in return.

Another sweepstakes scam in Iowa that has occurred is when someone pays you with a fake check. They may indicate that you have won a sweepstakes and that you need to deposit the winning check into your account and then wire a portion of the proceeds to a certain location to pay "required" taxes or fees on the prize money.

If you have lost money in prize-related financial fraud scams in Iowa, you are not alone. When a person or company defrauds you, you may be able to pursue a financial fraud lawsuit in Iowa against them. For more information about your rights, please contact the Law Offices of Brady Preston Gronlund to speak with an experienced Cedar Rapids financial fraud attorney in a free consultation at (319) 866-9277.