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Be mindful for sweepstakes fraud

As the famous Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol gives away roses, balloons and a giant check for a $10 million and other cash prizes this week, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED) warns Minnesotans to be alert to sweepstake scams being actively promoted by phone, mail and the Internet.

Recently in Minnesota and other states, residents have received notices of sweepstakes winnings on fake Publishers Clearing House letterhead with a bogus check for several thousand dollars.

Fraudulent lottery and sweepstakes scams account for at least $30 million in losses each year in Minnesota. Many of the scams target the elderly.

Minnesotans are asked to be vigilant about sweepstake scams and other criminal fraud, and to report suspected fraud to the AGED by calling 866-347-0911; submit information at or forward suspect emails to