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FTC: Sweepstakes scam netted $11 million

Posted by: Alejandra Matos under Buyer beware, Scams, Seniors Updated: September 23, 2013 - 2:45 PM

An international sweepstakes scam that has already cost consumers, mostly seniors, $11 million is the Federal Trade Commission's latest target in stopping these kinds of swindles.

On Sept. 16, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Ventura, Calif., resident Liam O. Moran and his companies for sending out personalized letters to millions of consumers claiming they had won more than $2 million in sweepstakes money. 

The letter then states the recipients have to send a $20 to $30 fee. The fine print on the back of the letter does tell consumers in "dense, confusing language" that they have not won anything and the fee is to provide consumers with a list of available sweepstakes, according to the FTC.

"The defendants have sent more than 3.7 million letters during the past two years, including nearly 800,000 letters to people in 156 countries in the first half of 2013," the FTC said in a news release Monday. "They have collected more than $11 million from consumers since 2009.  The vast majority of the victims of this scam appear to be over 65."

Read the full complaint here.

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