cautionary tale: read the fine print!

There's a news story floating around in cyberspace -- I saw it on the AOL Welcome Page yesterday so presumably it's legit -- about a fellow who entered a sweepstakes and got stuck being charged with magazine subscriptions because he had not read the fine print. In sweeps, the fine print is always always always the Official Rules. I would not enter a sweeps without reviewing them. They're presented in a predictable order, so once you've gotten familiar with the flow, you can skim them for salient details, including restrictions on dates of travel. I read them to protect myself but also because I do not enter sweepstakes I do not want to win. Another hardfast rule: I only enter No Purchase Required sweeps. I also almost never enter sweeps where you have to submit an essay or a photo or, goodness me, a design, but sometimes I make exceptions, like back in 2006 when I submitted a short essay to win a trip to that summer's World Cup in Germany. Also, be careful about which boxes you check in the entry form. I often subscribe to email notices but then unsubscribe, this doesn't affect your chances of winning. The U.S. sweeps world is pretty well regulated but there's always some nut job trying to scam sweepsters so be alert and you should be able to enter sweeps unscathed.

Here's a Cinco de Mayo-themed sweeps from Furmano's for a $3,000 travel voucher to Mexico, swine flu and drug cartel be damned! It's a one-time entry, it ends May 31. To enter, click HERE.