By August 3, 2011on
Every month we fulfil stacks of prize draws – we send winners on fabulous holidays, arrange delivery of home entertainment systems, package up kids toys and occasionally even notify winners of big cash wins. But for every great winning whoop of joy, we are considered suspiciously by others who think their prize notification is a hoax.
The CAP code is very clear ‘promoters must not claim that consumers have won a prize if they have not’ and fake prize draw scams in the UK are illegal. However, according to consumer watchdog Which? prize draw scams are the second most common scams in the UK. So how do you know if you really are a winner?
Firstly, did you enter the prize draw or competition? If not, then quite simply you cannot possibly be a winner. We can prove that all our prize winners entered a prize draw – we’ll have their entry postcard, or SMS, phone and online records mean we have exact date and time of entry. If you receive a letter saying you’ve won a prize draw by a company claiming you’ve been ‘specially selected’ to win a prize, put it in the bin. Immediately.
Are you being asked to pay a fee to claim your prize? We never, ever, EVER, ask our prize winners to part with money in order to claim their prize and there’s no such thing as a required administrative fee either. You might have to pay for an element not included in the prize itself, such as train fare to a hotel, but this will be stipluted in the terms and conditions. But you should never pay to actually claim a prize. In fact, it’s a criminal offence to say that someone’s won a prize and then ask them to pay money to receive it. It comes with a prison sentence of about two years.
Do you need to call a premium rate phone number to claim this prize? Pretty much as above. When we notify winners we generally send a letter that contains all the prize details plus we provide our office phone number and email address as a point of contact. You will never have to call an expensive phone number to speak to a prize supplier or their administrator.
Have you been asked to provide details of your bank account? We once had the joyous task of awarding a prize winner £10,000. We gave her the choice, a cheque or direct money transfer. She chose a cheque. There is never a need to give your bank account details to claim a prize. Especially if you haven’t even won money.
Oh, and finally, if you get an email from someone overseas claiming you’ve won millions of dollars in a lottery, you know where to file it…
If you receive a prize notification and you think it’s a bit iffy, then get in touch with the Advertising Standards Authority in the first instance.
- competition rules, competition terms and conditions, compliance, prize draw hoax, prize draw rules, prize draw scam, prize draw terms and conditions, scam
- Comments Off