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Subject: Is this legitimate or a phishing scam? rss

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Clay Blankenship
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My wife signed up for a sweepstakes from Target and later got this email. There is nothing obviously fraudulent about it but I am suspicious about them asking for this information (and also the wording "potential prize winner".) Or is it not quite fraudulent but just a sneaky way to build a mailing list?

Clay




> Congratulations! Your email address has been drawn as a potential prize
> winner in the Target 2008 Summer Sweepstakes, sponsored by Target
> Corporation.
>
> Your prize is a $5,000 Target GiftCard. GiftCard may be redeemed at any
> Target retail locations or for online purchases at Target.com. Approximate
> Retail Value $5,000.
>
> Young America Corporation is the official judging organization for this
> sweepstakes. In order to process your prize, you must complete the following
> information:
>
> Name:
> Complete physical address (no PO Boxes- delivery via FedEx)
> Age:
> Telephone:
> You must respond by end of day, July 22, 2008, or you will forfeit your
> prize.
> Please respond via email or by telephone at 1-800-257-3774.
> Upon receipt of your name and address information, we will begin the process
> of fulfilling your prize.
> If you should choose to decline your prize, please inform us so that an
> alternate winner may be chosen. Reply to this email and write "Decline" in
> the subject line.
>
> If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
> On behalf of Target Corporation, we would like to thank you for your
> participation in this sweepstakes. Once again, congratulations!
>
> Sincerely,
> Connie Lee
> Sweepstakes coordinator
 
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Hopefully becoming a restaurant owner soon! Peter Melanson
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I would contact Target directly and ask. I'm sure they would know if they had some kind of contest like that going.

It certainly looks fishy to me.

I tried a reverse lookup on that phone number. Nothing comes up.

Target's number is:
1.800.440.0680
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Jim Patterson
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Yeah, don't call the number. Call Target HQ. If it's on the level, cool for you guys!
 
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DK Kemler
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100% bogus.

snoweel wrote:
My wife signed up for a sweepstakes from Target and later got this email. There is nothing obviously fraudulent about it but I am suspicious about them asking for this information (and also the wording "potential prize winner".) Or is it not quite fraudulent but just a sneaky way to build a mailing list?

Clay




> Congratulations! Your email address has been drawn as a potential prize
> winner
in the Target 2008 Summer Sweepstakes, sponsored by Target
> Corporation.
>
> Your prize is a $5,000 Target GiftCard. GiftCard may be redeemed at any
> Target retail locations or for online purchases at Target.com. Approximate
> Retail Value $5,000.
>
> Young America Corporation is the official judging organization for this
> sweepstakes. In order to process your prize, you must complete the following
> information:
>
> Name:
> Complete physical address (no PO Boxes- delivery via FedEx)
> Age:
> Telephone:
> You must respond by end of day, July 22, 2008, or you will forfeit your
> prize.

> Please respond via email or by telephone at 1-800-257-3774.
> Upon receipt of your name and address information, we will begin the process
> of fulfilling your prize.
> If you should choose to decline your prize, please inform us so that an
> alternate winner may be chosen. Reply to this email and write "Decline" in
> the subject line.
>
> If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
> On behalf of Target Corporation, we would like to thank you for your
> participation in this sweepstakes. Once again, congratulations!
>
> Sincerely,
> Connie Lee
> Sweepstakes coordinator



Wait, did you win, or are you a potential winner? Why the threats to take away a prize you haven't actually won yet?
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Darryl Boone
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I wouldn't necessarily be scared off by the "potential prize winner" text. Back in '96 I won a PC from a Kellogg's promotion and they used exactly the same language. I think I was called a "potential" prize winner because I might not respond in time or I might potentially screw up the skill-testing question. Otherwise the instructions were almost identical.

My take is that it's probably legitimate, but do your checking, and don't go too hard on me if it's not.

Potential congratulations!
 
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Antonio Chavez
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I agree it reeks of scam. First of all, if they needed all that info they would have asked for it when you originally registered.

Contact Target by all means, but do not respond to that email. Believe me, having your identity stolen is gonna cost you a heck of a lot more than 5 grand.
 
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Jason Sadler
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If you have any questions about it, it is a scam. No one you don't know is going to contact you through email to do any kind of real business. Ever.
 
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Jason Sadler
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That number turns up as the number to call for a Motorola prize package elsewhere on the net.
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Darryl Boone
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Mr.Baggins wrote:
First of all, if they needed all that info they would have asked for it when you originally registered.

BeatPosse wrote:
No one you don't know is going to contact you through email to do any kind of real business. Ever.

The original poster didn't say how much information he originally provided. Was it just an email address? This is becoming more common lately, as people are more likely to enter a contest if they don't have to fill out a long entry form requiring multiple pieces of contact info.


BeatPosse wrote:
That number turns up as the number to call for a Motorola prize package elsewhere on the net.

This is zero evidence it is a scam. Companies running contests rarely run the contests themselves, they hire promotional companies who take care of everything. I talked only with the promotional company for my prize, I never spoke to anyone working at Kellogg's.


degamer wrote:
100% bogus.

Mr.Baggins wrote:
I agree it reeks of scam.

BeatPosse wrote:
If you have any questions about it, it is a scam.

Legitimate contest notifications are worded much like this. But wait, see, they're trying hard to look legitimate! It must be a scam.

Look, I'm not saying it's not fraudulent. It very well could be, maybe even likely, and the suggestion to phone Target directly is a great one. But posters are erring on the side of paranoia when the evidence they're offering doesn't successfully back it up, and it'd be irresponsible of me to not point that out.

Be cautiously optimistic. In that phrase, the first word is more important than the second.
 
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Dom L.
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From www.target.com/survey (http://www.targetsurvey.com/s010011cdr02/rules1.asp)

Quote:

B). To Enter Without Purchase: Hand print your complete name, address, daytime phone, email address (if available), and date of birth on a 3" x 5" card and mail your entry in a first class stamped envelope to: Target 2008 Summer Survey Sweepstakes Entry, P.O. Box 1077, Young America, MN 55594-1077.

# WINNERS LIST: For the names of the winners, write your name and complete address on a 3”x5” card and mail in a first class, stamped envelope to: Target 2008 Summer Survey Sweepstakes Winners List, Dept 4161-7062, P.O. Box 6838, Young America, MN 55558-6838 for receipt by 10/31/08.


So I'd go with the poster who says to be cautiously optimistic. If it's a scammer, they at least got who was running the Target 2008 Summer Sweepstakes correct. It also mentions that the winner will be notified on/about the 15th of the month, which roughly fits in the time frame.
 
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degamer wrote:
100% bogus.

snoweel wrote:
My wife signed up for a sweepstakes from Target and later got this email. There is nothing obviously fraudulent about it but I am suspicious about them asking for this information (and also the wording "potential prize winner".) Or is it not quite fraudulent but just a sneaky way to build a mailing list?

Clay




> Congratulations! Your email address has been drawn as a potential prize
> winner
in the Target 2008 Summer Sweepstakes, sponsored by Target
> Corporation.
>
> Your prize is a $5,000 Target GiftCard. GiftCard may be redeemed at any
> Target retail locations or for online purchases at Target.com. Approximate
> Retail Value $5,000.
>
> Young America Corporation is the official judging organization for this
> sweepstakes. In order to process your prize, you must complete the following
> information:
>
> Name:
> Complete physical address (no PO Boxes- delivery via FedEx)
> Age:
> Telephone:
> You must respond by end of day, July 22, 2008, or you will forfeit your
> prize.

> Please respond via email or by telephone at 1-800-257-3774.
> Upon receipt of your name and address information, we will begin the process
> of fulfilling your prize.
> If you should choose to decline your prize, please inform us so that an
> alternate winner may be chosen. Reply to this email and write "Decline" in
> the subject line.
>
> If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
> On behalf of Target Corporation, we would like to thank you for your
> participation in this sweepstakes. Once again, congratulations!
>
> Sincerely,
> Connie Lee
> Sweepstakes coordinator



Wait, did you win, or are you a potential winner? Why the threats to take away a prize you haven't actually won yet?


Semi scam, this "potential winner" is Reader's Digest standard operating model. It may well be legitimate*, but realistically it is just them dangling a bait to get you to provide extra information that they will use.

*Legitimate can be equivalent to phishing in many cases in my book and this is one where it would pass the equivalence test cool
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Whenever you win a contest that you don't remember entering you're either getting scammed or you're an alcoholic...
 
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Melissa
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I'd be cautiously optimistic.

And then I would buy ME a gift with some of the $5000.

Just sayin'.
 
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Jason Sadler
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I work in internet crimes for the "good guys" and have to deal with people that let their optimism beat out their caution. I have never seen (legal)business transactions handled solely through email.

I would argue that it is a scam until there is an insurmountable mountain of evidence that it is not. Phones and face-to-face visits are the best way to collect that info, because even responding via email can be giving spammers what they want.
 
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Chapel
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Never, never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never, ever sign up for a giveaway sweepstakes at a mall, boatshow, store, etc. Seriously, you will regret the day.
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Clay Blankenship
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I called Target and they said the information was all correct and the phone number given is legitimate, so Andrea called the phone number. They just wanted a mailing address. We have to sign some paperwork (We will be sure to check it out first.) and then we are supposed to be getting our prize. I am still a bit skeptical that we are getting anything until I actually see it.

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Chapel
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> Congratulations! Your email address has been drawn as a potential prize
> winner in the Target 2008 Summer Sweepstakes, sponsored by Target
> Corporation.


You know what that means "potential". They are looking for you to give them more contact information so that they can bombard you with whatever it is they are trying to sell you. Probably time shares. And you won't go from potential to winner unless you follow the plan they are trying to sell you. And even if you refuse to follow that plan, they will either A. Call you day in and day out FOREVER, or 2. Sell your contact information to a barrage of other spammer types.

IGNORE THIS NOTICE and move on.
 
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Darryl Boone
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I tried to explain this before, but the word "potential prize winner" means "this isn't yours until you claim it". In fraudulent cases it means jump through hoops and give them $$$, but (this is important and was almost universally ignored) legitimate contests say this too. They won't say you flat-out won because they don't want you popping up ten years later trying to claim your prize.

You haven't "won" until you claim it within a certain time period. Until then you are only a potential prize winner. I know this from experience.

I know people are paranoid about scams and whatnot but this thread has left my jaw drop. I know people were just trying to be helpful, but uninformed advice in this thread could have cost this person $5000 in store credit. Fortunately the OP ignored all the speculation from people that it was "definitely" a scam, and followed good advice by following up with Target directly.
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Susan Rozmiarek
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MWChapel wrote:
Never, never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never,never, never, ever sign up for a giveaway sweepstakes at a mall, boatshow, store, etc. Seriously, you will regret the day.


I once signed up our dog (named Casey) in a giveaway sweepstakes at a video game store at the mall just for fun. He got junk mail and telemarketer calls for years after that. I could only imagine what he would have bought with all those credit cards he was offered
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rica anderson
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California
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Hi Clay!

I'm curios what happened about your winnings, because I received the same text but I received mine mailed through FEDEx and they have inserted a prepaid FEDEX envelope for me to respond on the sweepstake and they said I've won an HP work station with a flat monitor included. They said I need to get it notarized first. I called up HP but they said they dont know anything abput it. The letter came from Young America corporation and the name says Connie Lee.

It look so legit and I'm so tempted to respond.
Please email me right away because I want to know if I really won something...

Rica
 
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Clay Blankenship
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For the record, it was legitimate. I was able to call Young America and verify it. All we had to do was sign the paperwork and provide our address.

Clay
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