Are you a fan of sweepstakes websites? If so, you’re probably aware of PrizeGrab. The name tells potential participants a lot about the website – it gives players a chance to try different opportunities for the purpose of grabbing a prize.
Unfortunately, the legitimate website is having its name being used by scammers. This is how the PrizeGrab scam was born. If you’ve never tried lottery websites and sweepstakes in the past or you don’t know how to protect yourself from illegitimate proposals, the following guide will be the right one for you.
A Scam Based on the Good Reputation of Popular Website
PrizeGrab is a relatively popular website. There’s no purchase necessary in order to participate and just about every US citizen over the age of 18 can join.
Once a person subscribes, they will see a list of available prizes. In order to eventually win, the individual will have to register for the specific opportunity. The terms, conditions and the amount of the prize are provided with every individual opportunity.
Please note that PrizeGrab doesn’t make it possible for someone to win without signing up or participating for the respective prize (more about that later, once we introduce the scam that relies on the popularity of PrizeGrab).
Every single day, PrizeGrab makes official announcements about winners via email. This is where things can get a bit tricky because dozens of scams out there rely on email communication for the purpose of fooling gullible individuals. Thus, such emails will need to be checked carefully and their legitimacy will have to be verified before any additional communication takes place.
As you can see, the rules are pretty simple. PrizeGrab is more of a sweepstake opportunity rather than an actual lottery platform. The simplicity and the dozens of different prizes available have made it quite popular among players in the US. Unfortunately, the name of PrizeGrab is being used maliciously.
The PrizeGrab Scam: Nothing to Do with the Original Platform
When speaking of a PrizeGrab scam, we’re actually describing multiple fraud attempts. All of them have one thing in common – the perpetrators are individuals presenting themselves as PrizeGrab officials via different communication channels.
According to the official PrizeGrab website, there are phishing scams carried out via emails impersonating PrizeGrab notifications.
Phishing is an activity aimed at getting personal, login or financial information from the recipient. Such emails usually impersonate ones being received from actual institutions – banks, the IRS, PayPal and even lotteries.
The PrizeGrab report suggests there are several ways to recognize one of their official emails. For a start, the official PrizeGrab notifications are sent from a team manager and they refer to an actual sweepstake that the person has entered. If you haven’t played via the website, it would be impossible for you to win anything.
In addition, the legitimate emails are sent from a name@PrizeGrab.com email. This is the official domain of the opportunity. If you get an email like PrizeGrab@mailxxx.com, chances are that you’re either being scammed or that you’re subjected to a phishing attempt.
A few other distinctive characteristics of the official PrizeGrab emails include:
- You will be provided with a five-day period to make your prize claim – any email that is labeled as urgent or immediate is a scam
- There will be no taxes or processing fees being mentioned in the email (you will get solely the official rules you will have to follow for the purpose of collecting)
- A person that wins more than 600 dollars will be asked to fill out information that’s submitted to IRS for taxation purposes
- The email will not make a demand for the provision of personal or financial information on the spot
- The bottom of the email will let you know that you can ask additional questions at firstname.lastname@example.org (you can also use this email to verify opportunities and make sure you’re not being scammed – a response will be provided within 48 hours of mailing the support team)
Email scams and phishing attempts, however, aren’t the only ones.
Lottery enthusiasts report that scammers impersonate PrizeGrab officials on social media. Messages have been received both via Istagram and Facebook. The content of the message is similar regardless of the channel being chosen. The recipient is made aware of the fact that they’ve “won” either a certain cash amount or a brand new car. In order to collect the prize, the recipient is asked to provide a bank account number and they also have to pay a processing fee that exceeds 300 dollars.
The message will come from a person with a legitimately-sounding name like Stephanie Johnson, for example. Once a scam profile is uncovered and reported to the Facebook or Instagram admins, it will be deleted and a new one will appear in its place. Thus, the name will change periodically, but the gist of the scam will remain the same.
Please remember that you cannot win prizes from sweepstakes and lotteries that you haven’t entered. In order to become a PrizeGrab winner, you have to register for the respective prize that you’re interested in. Don’t be gullible and don’t put yourself in jeopardy due to thoughts that you could win some easy cash.