According to the real Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. government’s chief consumer protection agency, consumers can keep from falling for the lure of the sweepstakes scam by taking a few precautions. For example, the FTC says:
Don’t pay to collect sweepstakes winnings. If you have to pay to collect your winnings, you haven’t won anything. Legitimate sweepstakes don’t require you to pay “insurance,” “taxes” or “shipping and handling charges” to collect your prize.