Winning a large sweepstakes prize is a dream come true for many people. However, that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if the win notification was actually a sweepstakes scam. One Joshua Tree resident fell victim to fraud this week. The man, who lives in the 64600 block of Sunflower Road, was contacted this week by someone who said he was the winner of a $1.25 million dollar sweepstakes prize, plus a car. All he had to do was send money for processing fees and insurance on the prize. The man sent $1700 before he realized he had been scammed. If you are called out of the blue that you won a prize, chances are it’s a scam. You can’t win if you didn’t enter the contest. In addition, legitimate sweepstakes will never ask you to pay fees to participate or to receive a prize. You should never have to pay handling charges, service fees, or any other kind of charges up front to receive a win—those are sure signs of sweepstakes scams. Report any scams to the Sheriff’s Department.

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