Who’s name is actually on the check? If it is yours, then it belongs to you; if it is the other lady, then do your best to see that she gets it or return it to the dealership. If the check is not made out to a particular person, then it is most likely an advertising gimmick and feel free to shred it.
If its addressed the way you stated…its a gimmick to get someone/ anyone into the dealership, if it was a real sweepstakes winning, they would send out notification by certified mail.
Ive seen many things like this in the mail, most of them look very real, but when you read the fine print, the $5000. is usually the amount they will give for a trade in, or willing to knock off the price of the car.
No, it is not a check. It is a ticket that you open up and it discloses how much is won.
The name on the letter is made out to previous owner’s name OR current resident. As I’m the current resident…this is legally made out to me as well.
I read the fine print. Odds of winning are 1:20,000 and there’s an insurance company listed, so it appears legit and not a scam. It is the 2nd prize and a $5,000 cash prize.
1st prize is $20,000 cash and the odds are 1:20,000 for that. Third prize are 3 Illinois lottery tickets, with odds being 19,997:20,000.
As I opened up the ticket, I told my wife “I am using my mega psychic powers to say I’m going to win the 3 lottery tickets” (in a swami voice, being a big joke and all) because it is a gimmick to get into the dealership with few people actually winning the big prizes, with the odds being so small.
I was surprised to see an actual cash prize, beating the odds.
I had something like this before at another dealership, the third prize was $5 (odds of winning: 19,997:20,000) and they actually paid it, the terms and conditions were worded just like this with same odds and everything, so I do think this is legit.
So back to my original question: Am I morally obligated to give this to her? I clearly am legally OK as the letter is addressed to current resident.
I get things like this all the time. Most of the time you have to take the ticket to the dealership, listen to a sales pitch, and then they peel off and redeem the ticket, or look up your number to see what you won. This is legitimate, as I have done this when wanting to purchase a car, but calling up and answering questions from a computer sounds fishy. I did not have to answer any questions or give any information.
The best thing to do is to call up the dealership and ask them about it. If it is a scam, you can also report it to the police, so our police department has said.
I think it’s more likely that you got a $5,000 discount off an artificially inflated car price. Morally you don’t even have to tell the prior resident anything. It’s addressed to you so it’s yours. If you go and they give you cash without first saddling you with 5 years of car payments and you still feel guilty then you can donate the cash to charity.
If you truly think its real, ask the dealership, or the insurance company for the official list of winners for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes, ALL REAL lottery and sweepstakes contests provide these to anyone who asks.
Ask yourself why a car dealership would be in the sweepstakes business in the first place? How would people be entered into it, or where would they get all the people to compete? Not to mention, if its a car dealership, why is not one of the prizes a car, or at least a big discount on a car?
It was a trick to get you into the dealership. Everyone’s mailing makes it look like they won the top prize. I get at least 3 of these types of things from car dealers each year. Every single time it says I’ve won the top prize.
The guy’s ticket said he’d won $20,000, the people on the phone confirmed, and yet “…when he got to the Gary Mathews dealership, Galarza said employees there told him that every mailer had that same winning combination and that it was really the activation code on back that determines the prize.”
Anytime a stranger that you haven’t initiated contact with wants to give you something for nothing, they are either scamming you or selling to you.