It's the oldest trick in the book, mail congratulating you on winning a sweepstakes, but the fine print says you can only cash in, if you just send in a fee.
Since it's April Fool's Day, we thought we'd give you some tips to outsmart those tricks.
13WMAZ's Jennifer Moulliet shows you how in this week's "Get Answers".
Here are some things to look out for:
- Bold or highlighted words are created to distract you, so you miss the fine print.
- Don't be fooled by words like official, winner or by official looking seals.
- These days,anyone can create a seal or logo.
Also look for the smaller piece of paper that comes along with it. The small paper explains the facts of the sweepstakes, but the words are usually much smaller so you don't take the time to read it.
Everything the big paper promises, the smaller one takes away. It explains your real chances of winning.
And don't be fooled by international contests that say you've won.
Ask yourself "Did I enter to win?" It's also illegal to participate in a lottery in a different country where you're not a resident.
If you don't want to receive these anymore, the worst thing you could do is respond by sending money or buying into the sweepstakes.
But if you already have, and you still don't want to receive them you can remove your name from the national mailing lists.
Here's how to:
Go to www.the-dma.org or send a letter requesting to be removed from the national mailing list to :
Mail Preference Service
Attn: Preference Manager
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
Be sure to include all name styles (Jane Smith, Jane C. Smith), address, telephone number, signature and $1 fee per household. It may take up to three months to see a significant reduction in mail.
To be removed from unwanted email go to www.e-mps.org
To be removed from the Do Not Call registry:
GA Do Not Call 1-800-282-5813 or www.ganocall.com
National Do Not Call 1-888-382-1222 or www.donotcall.gov
You can request to be removed from pre-approved credit card offers too by calling 1-888-567-8688 or www.optoutprescreen.com
Submit your questions on our homepage. Look for the features dropdown menu and select Get Answers. We could answer your question on Eyewitness News.
You can follow 13WMAZ's Jennifer Moulliet on twitter @jmoulliet_wmaz