How many times have you come across a super sweepstakes or contest and thought, “Is this too good to be true?” Simply enter in some information about yourself for a chance to win a million dollar shopping spree.
So what’s the deal? Are sweepstakes just scams?
If the business or company offering the sweepstakes are legitimately offering a person a chance to receive a grand prize just by releasing an email address or some other personal information – then, no, the sweepstakes are in compliance with federal laws.
If, however, a company is luring consumers to pay to win – then the sweepstakes are illegal. Charging someone a “price” to enter a game, where a “prize” is awarded on the basis of “chance,” is unlawful. The exceptions include federal and state-run lotteries, nonprofit raffles, and licensed bingo games.