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Junk-mail contests exploit consumers

Abigail Goldman of the Las Vegas Sun explored the prevalence of direct-mail contests and sweepstakes that make big claims but use small type to disclose the odds of winning. According to the article, “These halfhearted disclosures make the contests perfectly legal and perfectly manipulative, at least according to consumer advocates, who argue that the schemes fool the elderly, uneducated and naive into thinking they’ve struck it rich.” The article shares the story of Linda, an 81-year-old woman who has 2 cents in savings after paying dozens of contest entry fees and bounced-check charges.

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