The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has mailed 503 refund checks to consumers who were allegedly tricked into paying a fee to collect a fake multi-million-dollar sweepstakes prize.Â
The FTC says the operators of the scam, collectively known as Prize Information Bureau, sent personalized mailers -- some with fictitious government agency names and official-looking seals -- to hundreds of thousands of consumers.Â
Consumers are receiving refund checks totaling more than $183,000. The amount varies based upon the amount of each consumer's loss. Those who receive the checks from the FTC's refund administrator should cash them within 60 days of the date they were issued.Â
The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks can be cashed. Consumers with questions should call the refund administrator, Gilardi & Co., LLC, at 1-888-251-6826.Â
To learn how to avoid these kinds of scams, read the FTC's Prize Offers: You Don't Have to Pay to Play.