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Thread: Need some advice about a contest I won

  1. #1
    Asp'r the Contrarian SnakeMenPriest's Avatar
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    Need some advice about a contest I won

    Hey again everyone. It's the org's resident villain asking the .org heros for help once again.

    I'll be bolding a TL;DR section below

    A couple months back, I entered a mall raffle/contest (can't remember which it was), and a few days ago I received a call saying I won one of the big prizes; and that, to receive the prize I won I would have to travel to a resort nearby me. They said my prize is guaranteed, and that all I have to do when I get there is to take a tour of the resort. No seminars. No buying in. They later mailed the entry form I filled out, along with a letter saying that I won, stating the prize list, and that I can claim it anytime. Here's the list of prizes, of which I am eligible for one: A big wad of cash, a new car, a shopping spree, a cruise, and a small wad of cash.
    When I told my family about this, they unanimously cried foul, saying that this is one big scam and that I'm being fooled. Here's their reasoning that they told me:
    The letter I got was sent to every participant, not just the winners.
    They lie on the phone to get you to come.
    I'd HAVE to buy in in order to receive my prize.
    If I don't buy in, They'll bar me from claiming my prize.
    They pressure you the entire time to buy in
    Family had several family friends that did this very thing.

    The only thing different is that I have the actual entry form I filled out, whereas the family friends got something in the mail; Family refused to believe me though. I really want to claim the prize, but all this crying foul family did leave a feeling of doubt within me, and it's this doubt that is making me unsure of which course of action I should take.

    TL;DR
    I won one of many big prizes in a mall contest
    To claim prize I have to go to a resort
    Family believes it's one big scam
    Family cited many reasons on why it's a scam
    I really don't know what to think...


    So, please... what do you think I should do...?


    --Steven

  2. #2
    Plundor Promoter He-Dad's Avatar
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    I'd go check it out. I mean, no one can FORCE you to buy anything (well besides Mattel when you sub but that's not the norm ) Worst case scenario, you wasted your time and took a tour and left. Best case, you left with some cash/a new car/a cruise/ ect.

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeMenPriest View Post

    I'd HAVE to buy in in order to receive my prize.
    This should set off huge alarm bells that this is a scam. Prepare to be locked in a room for an entire day getting a very high pressure sales pitch on buying a time share.

  4. #4
    Master of New Adventures!
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    Scam. Done. Move on.

  5. #5
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Nothing in life is free.

    More than likely you are going to have to sit through a long-winded sales pitch. No, you don't have to buy something to get the "prize", but these are professional salesmen so they will probably persuade you into buying something you didn't really want.

    What did our mother's always tell us? Let's all say it together. "If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobubott View Post
    This should set off huge alarm bells that this is a scam. Prepare to be locked in a room for an entire day getting a very high pressure sales pitch on buying a time share.
    agreed. If you HAVE to buy in then you didn't win anything.

  7. #7
    Born A Monster wolfsfang's Avatar
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    midor & Bobubott try reading the post a bit more carefully

    the comp didn't say he would have to buy something, SMPs family said he (probably) would have to. In other words they are just totally guessing and could be talking a load of crap.

    I say he should go to the park. f they try to make him pay to get in he could just turn around and leave. If they don't and they let him in to get his prize that is great.

    I really do not see any problem here at all
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  8. #8
    Master of New Adventures!
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    Wolfy, you don't see any problem here because you're an honest person of integrity and also because you live outside of the U.S. and this sort of scam isn't prevalent in your part of the world.

    This sort of 'raffle' is a very common way in the U.S. of corraling people to attend sales presentations for condos, time shares, you name it. The 'prizes' are extremely cheap -- it's a red flag in not telling him what the prize is -- and are only given out after the sales presentation. Legitimate raffles let you know what you have won when they contact you. A good question is Why isn't this 'raffle' letting him know what he's won? The answer is because it's only a cheap 'prize'. (Another common common-on is the "You've won a free cruise" scam.) To get around saying he won't have to listen to a sales presentation, they will say it's an 'informational discussion' once he's spent the time and effort on getting. They're betting he will sit through it to get his 'prize'.

    While it is true that he doesn't have to buy anything, he is spending time and energy and will be high-pressured throughout the presentation. Companies like this make their money selling things. Logic dictates that if there was no entry fee then how does the company make money by giving away valuable cars and cash?

    As I said, this is very common in the U.S. and these sort of 'raffle or contest entry stations' can be found at a lot of malls over here.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfsfang View Post
    midor & Bobubott try reading the post a bit more carefully

    the comp didn't say he would have to buy something, SMPs family said he (probably) would have to. In other words they are just totally guessing and could be talking a load of crap.

    I say he should go to the park. f they try to make him pay to get in he could just turn around and leave. If they don't and they let him in to get his prize that is great.

    I really do not see any problem here at all
    Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; March 18, 2013 at 11:51pm.

  9. #9
    Asp'r the Contrarian SnakeMenPriest's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac
    Nothing in life is free.

    What did our mother's always tell us? Let's all say it together. "If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is."
    You think the days of people offering legitimate contests/raffles for legitimate prizes are long gone? Besides, to me, it's not about getting something for free. It's the feeling that I took a chance and won at something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
    The 'prizes' are extremely cheap -- it's a red flag in not telling him what the prize is -- and are only given out after the sales presentation. Legitimate raffles let you know what you have won when they contact you. A good question is Why isn't this 'raffle' letting him know what he's won? The answer is because it's only a cheap 'prize'.
    They did list the actual prizes in the letter, and they're not cheap. I can easily purchase a High-end tablet PC with the least valuable prize (the small wad of cash). I'm being intentionally vague on the value in case someone from "them" happens to see this.


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  10. #10
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeMenPriest View Post
    Thanks for your input so far.


    You think the days of people offering legitimate contests/raffles for legitimate prizes are long gone? Besides, to me, it's not about getting something for free. It's the feeling that I took a chance and won at something.


    They did list the actual prizes in the letter, and they're not cheap. I can easily purchase a High-end tablet PC with the least valuable prize (the small wad of cash). I'm being intentionally vague on the value in case someone from "them" happens to see this.


    --SMP
    Well then, I say give it a shot and let us know what you won
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  11. #11
    Born A Monster wolfsfang's Avatar
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    ya just go.

    even if they do try to sell you a condo (whatever those are) or try to convince you to buy timeshares in something or another all you have to do is just say "no". Unless you are extremely weak willed then I do not think it really should be the big an issue.
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    Clown Prince of Darkness Benedict Judas Hel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    Nothing in life is free.
    Air is free.
    "Wheresoever on earth he dwells, man is prey to two weaknesses: the need to pray and the need to love."-Marquis de Sade

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  13. #13
    Master of New Adventures!
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    They listed the prizes, but they did not indicate which you won. One of the prizes, although described eloquently and in lavish terms, always turns out to be something extremely cheap and that is what is given to almost everyone.

    By the way, did you pay to enter? If not, how do you believe they raise the money to give away great prizes?

    Have a great trip. I sure hope I'm wrong and that you win a car and post it in this thread. Let us all know how it turns out.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeMenPriest View Post
    Thanks for your input so far.


    You think the days of people offering legitimate contests/raffles for legitimate prizes are long gone? Besides, to me, it's not about getting something for free. It's the feeling that I took a chance and won at something.


    They did list the actual prizes in the letter, and they're not cheap. I can easily purchase a High-end tablet PC with the least valuable prize (the small wad of cash). I'm being intentionally vague on the value in case someone from "them" happens to see this.


    --SMP
    Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; March 19, 2013 at 11:36am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeMenPriest View Post
    They did list the actual prizes in the letter, and they're not cheap. I can easily purchase a High-end tablet PC with the least valuable prize (the small wad of cash). I'm being intentionally vague on the value in case someone from "them" happens to see this.
    If you believe this is a legitimate contest, I guess I'm confused why you would be concerned about them finding a forum post. Wouldn't a legitimate operation be required to give you the prize regardless?

    I would recommend googling the list of potential prizes along with the words "contest" and "scam." You'll find numerous complaints, but very few positive responses.

    It's pretty well known that the drop boxes at shopping malls and tourist destinations are a means of harvesting contact information for the purpose of selling something. It's safe to assume that everyone who submits an entry gets contacted as a potential winner. Let's say that on any given day, 20 people show up for the time share sales pitch. Let's assume 5 of those people actually agree to purchase something. For this contest to make sense, one would have to assume that the business of time share sales is so financially lucrative - even in a down economy - that they make enough profit from those 5 that they can afford to give lavish prizes to all 20 people. To me personally, it doesn't pass the sniff test.

    It sounds like you've already made up your mind to go, so I wish you the best of luck. Keep us posted how it turns out!

  15. #15
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedict Judas Hel View Post
    Air is free.
    Actually it's not. Your lungs and heart have to work for it
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    Clown Prince of Darkness Benedict Judas Hel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    Actually it's not. Your lungs and heart have to work for it
    So you're paying your heart and lungs to work? What's the going rate?
    "Wheresoever on earth he dwells, man is prey to two weaknesses: the need to pray and the need to love."-Marquis de Sade

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  17. #17
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedict Judas Hel View Post
    Air is free.
    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    Actually it's not. Your lungs and heart have to work for it
    Quote Originally Posted by Benedict Judas Hel View Post
    So you're paying your heart and lungs to work? What's the going rate?
    It's simple. They get paid with the air they work for...

    It's something that living, breathing humans do, but I am sure it's nothing you have to worry about working for the dark lord. lol.
    Last edited by MOTU_Maniac; March 19, 2013 at 01:15pm.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedict Judas Hel View Post
    So you're paying your heart and lungs to work? What's the going rate?
    An arm and a leg.

  19. #19
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    And when they stop getting paid with air...they quit on us

    - - - Updated - - -

    Back on topic...

    I have actually gone to something like this several times and end up walking away with a free $5 mp3 player after thinking I would win cash, car, tv, vacation, etc. BUT I say you should go for it and check it out. Then report back and let us know how it went and what you won.
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  20. #20
    Clown Prince of Darkness Benedict Judas Hel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    It's simple. They get paid with the air they work for...
    Man, your heart and lungs are getting a raw deal! I can actually pay them if they come work for me.
    "Wheresoever on earth he dwells, man is prey to two weaknesses: the need to pray and the need to love."-Marquis de Sade

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  21. #21
    Master of DVDs BCI Guy's Avatar
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    There is ALWAYS one prize that may sound great, but is of much less value than all the others. I'm guessing the prize that 99% of the people will win is the cruise.

    Especially since its a resort you are visiting. They likely have a deal with a cruise line - where the actual cruise is free, but airfare is not included and it may even have some type of clause where you have to stay at the resort for "X" amount of days before or after to claim the prize.

  22. #22
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedict Judas Hel View Post
    Man, your heart and lungs are getting a raw deal! I can actually pay them if they come work for me.
    Hahaha
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