Dealer Fraud: Contests and Prizes

Many dealers send out mailers that pretend to be contests and offer amazing prizes. I've seen them all. Large screen TVs. MP3s. Thousands of dollars. New cars.

Often you have to scratch of an area just like an instant lottery ticket. If the number matches, then you are an instant winner. All you have to do is call a number and confirm.

You call the number and you're told again you're a winner. You just have to come into the dealership to claim your prize.

Then you get the dealer and rather than a prize, you get the hard sell. And they immediately take your mailer away from you. They immediately take away the evidence.

The prize is continually held out like a carrot just out of reach. Eventually the prize becomes some sort of alleged subsidy or incentive for the purchase of a vehicle.

If anyone has ever received the promised large screen TV or MP3 player or thousands of dollars, then please, please contact me. I'd love to hear that someone - just one person -- got what was promised.

These sort of promotions are usually sold to dealers by national marketing companies. The dealers know what is going on, but blame the marketing company if and when some bold consumer will not take no for an answer.

If you get one of these mailers, and you go to the dealer, make a copy of the mailer first. If they won't give you your prize, then contact an attorney. Dealer fraud must not be tolerated.

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