Arkansans who receive a notification that they have won a large sum of money or a luxury prize from a sweepstakes they do not remember entering should immediately realize that this is a scam.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office last week issued the warning that scammers will claim consumers have to respond quickly or risk missing out on a prize. Then, the scam artists will continue to urge consumers to keep their winnings confidential to ‘maintain security’ or stop other people from getting the prize by mistake. Scammers, of course, do this to prevent consumers from seeking further information or advice from family, friends and law enforcement.

“My best friend’s mother lost her life savings when she shared her personal information with someone online,” said Rutledge in a news release. “I do not want anyone else to go through this horrible situation.”

Rutledge released the following tips to help consumers spot one of these scams:

Consumers should not try to collect winnings from a sweepstakes they do not remember entering.

Never give out personal financial information.

Do not pay money upfront in an attempt to claim a prize.

Always remember that if it looks or seems too good to be true, it most likely is

Scammers often use the name of legitimate businesses, like Publishers Clearinghouse, or a similar name to trick consumers into turning over their information.

Consumers should ignore all unsolicited sweepstakes prizes and immediately contact the Attorney General’s Office to report the call or email. When money is wired, especially to a foreign country, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to get it returned.

For more information and tips on how to avoid a scam, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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