FreeLotto.com is a sweepstakes site that awards members cash and other prizes including cars. People simply register as a member and then pick their numbers. Okay, maybe it’s not quite that simple, but FreeLotto.com claims to have to date awarded in excess of $95 million. People don’t need a credit card so how does FreeLotto.com make money and how is it able to pay winnings? That’s the big question. Get ready to have your email address flooded with promotional material, spam and other links to sites that might cost money.
What Is FreeLotto?
The site was established in 1999 and is owned by PlasmaNet Inc., a company based in New York, USA. This sweepstakes site is not a place to purchase lottery tickets. Players can play six games daily, and register up to 10 accounts.
After choosing their numbers for each game, players click on the banner ad of a sponsor and answer a multiple choice question or click on the FreeBet button. From time to time, FreeLotto.com may ask brief questions about buying preferences. The home site is in English, but FreeLotto also has Spanish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Suomi and Swedish versions.
It’s obvious that something isn’t right the moment you visit the FreeLotto website. The design is outdated and it pretty much looks like the popup banners that used to plague our computer screens some time ago. Grandiose promises are made right on the homepage and FreeLotto promises you that you can win more than one million dollars the moment you sign up. Websites that get started with such promises aren’t the most trustworthy ones (unless they can state rather clearly how such opportunities come about).
The homepage features the names and pictures of people that have supposedly become millionaires using FreeLotto. We tried to run a quick online check and figure out whether these people are real and if they’ve actually won money.
We went at random with Isabelle Bradley, who supposedly won 10 million dollars through the website. Interestingly enough, no media or news website has reported about such a spectacular win. After all, if it were that simple to become a millionaire, chances are that the media would jump on the bandwagon immediately.
It’s very interesting to point out that the name has taken us to a website called ScamVictimsUnited (uh-oh, not a good start)! The forum features tens of accounts written by people that tried to replicate Isabelle’s success, but were unable to claim their FreeLotto prizes.
Alright, maybe there weren’t any reports about Isabelle. This is why we decided to search for a second FreeLotto millionaire. According to the website, Zhivko Zhelev from Bulgaria won 100 million dollars. Now, Bulgaria is a small European country and it has some of the lowest salaries in the EU. Such a massive winning is definitely big news and it should have been covered by at least few media. There’s whatsoever, no information about such a millionaire.
The final thing we tried to do is a reverse Googe image search for Zhivko’s photo. This approach would at least confirm that the person is real. Unfortunately, the picture appears solely on the FreeLotto website. There’s no Facebook profile or another account that features the picture. The same applies to Isabelle’s picture.
Who Can Play at FreeLotto.com?
FreeLotto.com lists under their rules the countries people can NOT play from. Besides underlining, no one can play from “the United States of America Department of State Trading with the Enemies Countries list”, – there are also state restrictions for some of the USA and Quebec in Canada. A few other countries are listed as not being allowed to participate under the Rules section.
FreeLotto.com – The Catch
This site is supported by advertising, promotions, surveys and other communication that funds the prizes and pays Freelotto.com. Though they don’t explicitly say they will share your email account with third parties, it is implied in that there are also links to other opportunities.
It’s also interesting to point out that if you supposedly win, you don’t get any information about it through the website or your account there. No, no – that would be too simple and legitimate! Rather, you get an email notification in the form of “First name, last name, YOU HAVE WON!” Does that ring a bell? It pretty much looks like the mail lottery scams we write about so frequently.
Also, you’re supposed to wait for a transaction number that will supposedly give you access to the money. There’s no direct transfer of funds because FreeLotto doesn’t ask for your financial information and doesn’t credit money to your account. As you can see, believing that you’ll get any money in this very, very complex method is definitely a stretch of the imagination.
The website doesn’t make a single mention of the exact mechanism in which the money’s going to be paid. Its FAQ section features a convoluted explanation that doesn’t make any sense. In summary, any website that doesn’t have a specific and clearly explained payment method is to be avoided.
FreeLotto.com Customer Support
The site only provides a PO Box located in the State of New York, USA. There is no phone number, email address or live chat. All communication is conducted through an online form. As there is no need to purchase anything (or so you think), there are no payment options.
Your Inbox Under Siege
FreeLotto.com works with partners and advertisers to survive. It is only natural to expect that after registering, you will be at the mercy of these companies. You’ve given them permission for the value of promises of prizes and money. You provide your name and address. There are reports about being unable to unsubscribe once you have registered your personal details online. Some players have also said they have had continual problems even after they have cancelled their membership with FreeLotto.com [complaintsboard.com].
Usually, it takes a bit of work to dig up complaints about online lottery and sweepstake vendors, but ripoffreport.com is an excellent starting point. The amount and range of complaints are quite extensive.
Some players commented they were unable to redeem a prize, as the small print in the ‘Terms and Conditions’ states that you would need to contact them with certain information at a precise time and date. Other comments include the password reset link did not respond to multiple requests and some affiliates reported that they had sent loads of traffic to Freelotto.com but did not get paid for their efforts [epinions.com].
Now about the LottoExposed.com experience. Look, what we have got a couple of days ago. Oops, looks like we have won one million pounds – NOT! 😀 Stay away of such ‘good news’, folks!
The Bottom Line for FreeLotto.com
I don’t think I have ever seen that many diverse complaints for an online sweepstakes/lottery site. The fact that there is no direct way to contact Freelotto.com makes this all the more serious. There is no street address or telephone number; only their online form. Worse, there is every indication that your contact details will be shared so you’ll not be sure who will/could contact you next.
It’s Clearly a Sweepstake
No Contact Details
No Customer Service
Information about Winners Is Largely Falsified
There isn’t a Clear Explanation about how a Prize Can Be Claimed – Long and Convoluted FAQ Section
It May Be Very Difficult, Even Impossible to Unsubscribe from Their Spam Emails
If you want to get involved in winning money online, stick with the tried and true online lottery sites and pay for your tickets. The bottom line is that you usually get what you pay for – though in this case paying nothing might actually get you an Inbox full of spam emails.