Recognize

If you think you or someone you know has been affected by a fake prize, lottery, or sweepstake imposter scam, we recommend that you act immediately, by following our guidelines below, and then proceed to our ReportRecover, and Reinforce sections for further assistance.

Some Immediate Action Steps to Take

  • Cease all contact with that individual and company.
  • Contact your bank or financial institution to close or change any compromised accounts.
  • Go to annualcreditreport.com to see a copy of your free annual credit report.
  • Save all information or messages about the prize, lottery, or sweepstake that you received from the scammer. You may need to provide this information when you file a report.

Report

Report the Incident to the Website Where You First Saw the Opportunity

Contact the Money Service Company You May Have Used and Report the Fraud

Recover

These resources have been gathered, selected and vetted to help simplify the process of recovering after a cybercrime incident has taken place. You may need to contact organizations outside FightCybercrime.org. Results will vary depending on your circumstances.

Reinforce

Once you have notified the appropriate organizations and you are on the road to recovery, it is time to reinforce your cybersecurity using these resources and tools.

Implement Preventive Measures

  • Research before offering any payment for a prize; call the lottery or sweepstakes company directly to see if you really won.
  • Remember companies that offer valid prizes, lotteries, or sweepstakes do not ask for any money for shipping and handling, taxes or customs.
  • If you do not remember entering a contest, then you can’t win a prize, so the offer is a scam.
  • Publishers Clearing House reports that they never contact people in advance to tell them they’ve won.
  • Download our Six Steps to Better Security PDF.

Community Resources

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FTC: Pass it on