Are sweepstakes companies that sell magazines legitimate?

6 On Your Side Answers: Are sweepstakes companies that sell magazines legitimate?

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When an envelope arrived claiming more than a million dollars in prize value is pending, Sonya Stewart read the details of the offer, called the number and was immediately optimistic. When an envelope arrived claiming more than a million dollars in prize value is pending, Sonya Stewart read the details of the offer, called the number and was immediately optimistic.
"They wanted to bill me for three magazines. They wanted me to put $1.99 down. Then they were going to bill me every month, $22, or just take it from my card. I told them you can't have my card number." "They wanted to bill me for three magazines. They wanted me to put $1.99 down. Then they were going to bill me every month, $22, or just take it from my card. I told them you can't have my card number."

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - People are bombarded every day with sweepstakes offers. Some are legitimate, while others aren't. How can you tell the difference?

Sonya in Clinton asks, "I received a letter stating I could be the winner of more than a million dollars. But all they were trying to do was sell me magazines. Is this company legitimate?"

Sonya Stewart says she enjoys entering sweepstakes, hoping someday to strike it rich.

When an envelope arrived claiming more than a million dollars in prize value is pending, she read the details of the offer, called the number and was immediately optimistic.

"I had a real good chance of winning $1,100,000," she said, describing the letter. "And they kept saying to me 'You know we really do give good prizes.' They made it sound like it was Publishers Clearing House." 

It's not Publishers Clearing House, but a contest called "Strike it Rich Sweepstakes."

"Oh, they didn't mention their name, they just, 'We're a big outfit, you know of all that money that we give away,'" said Sonya.

She says the fast talking salesman mentioned awarding her money in either a lump sum or stretching it out for 30 years, plus free prizes and one other thing.

"And then he said 'We're also going to send you three magazines, you pick out the magazines you want,'" quoted Sonya.

"They wanted to bill me for three magazines. They wanted me to put $1.99 down. Then they were going to bill me every month, $22, or just take it from my card. I told them you can't have my card number."

Sonya had once worked in telephone sales. She knew once they had her credit card numbers, she'd be signed up.

According to rules written in small print, a magazine exchange company sponsored the sweepstakes.

"I think they should be punished for their little games. I'm sorry, I don't go along with this stuff," she said.

National Magazine Exchange is an actual company, a direct marketing business out of Florida. Their website claims people do win money and prizes, and likely they receive lots of magazines.

While its legitimate, it's a company that feeds of the hopes and dreams of people, while trying to sell magazines.


You can see Don Dare's 6 On Your Side Answers every Tuesday and Thursday on 6 News at 4:00.

If you have a question you can send Don an email at ddare@wate.com or call his 6 On Your Side hotline at (865) 633-5974.

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