Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Fraudulent Puzzles for Prizes Sweepstakes Scams

"Puzzle contests" are used to develop lists of vulnerable victims whose names can be sold to other "big-ticket" telemarketing and mail schemes. These lists are sometimes called "mooch lists."

Gold Dust Corp. Memo

From: Marketing Dept.

To: All Department Heads (Sweepstakes/Lottery Section)

Subject: Mode of Operation

The $3 entry fee for mail-in sweepstakes forms has proven to be a great qualifier of leads for our call center. The nominal fee virtually eliminates all entries by minors, a problem which arose with ballot boxes at fairs. The cost of processing duplication of entries is both offset by the fees and by the extra revenue generated after targeting this group of contestants which are "eager to win".

It should be noted that while earlier programs, which charged an advance fee for non-existent winnings will continue, it has been shown that the long term potential for greater earnings is best met in our "one-in-five" program. This allows us to return time and time again as the elusive major prize remains just out of their ever-hopeful grasp.

Articles on Puzzle Contest Scams