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Questionable tactics surround sweepstakes notification letters

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Those equal payments, according to the material he received, would entitle Jorge Kimzin to $66,000 a year for the next 30 years.(Source: 3TV) Those equal payments, according to the material he received, would entitle Jorge Kimzin to $66,000 a year for the next 30 years.(Source: 3TV)
The Phoenix Better Business Bureau said it is familiar with the Award Notification Commission, calling the organization's marketing tactics questionable at best. (Source: 3TV) The Phoenix Better Business Bureau said it is familiar with the Award Notification Commission, calling the organization's marketing tactics questionable at best. (Source: 3TV)
The BBB says you should never have to shell out money to win a sweepstakes. (Source: 3TV) The BBB says you should never have to shell out money to win a sweepstakes. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Jorge Kimzin was cautiously optimistic when a letter arrived out of the blue, informing him he just might be a millionaire.

"Said I have already won $2 million payable in equal annual payments," he said.

Those equal payments, according to the material he received, would entitle Kimzin to $66,000 a year for the next 30 years.

That annuity would be coming from a place called the Award Notification Commission.

"I received this letter from this Award Commission in Kansas about, 'You are eligible to win $2 million, and you have to pay a processing fee of $12.99,'" Kimzin said.

A chance at winning $2 million was certainly appealing to the Glendale man. He said all the paperwork that the Award Notification Commission sent him gave the appearance of legitimacy, making it all the more enticing.

Things like "Issue Validation" and "Official Advisory" piqued his curiosity. Kimzin decided to mail in the $12.99, just like the letter instructed, for a shot at the big money. 

"$12.99 is not big, no big deal, so I sent it in," he said.

Kimzin said he felt something was a little off when the Award Notification Commission later sent him at least six more letters, each asking for more money. 

"As soon as I saw the next letters coming in, I feel like that was definitely something to worry about," he said.

His instincts were right.

"There's some blurry lines there what they're actually doing, if there really is a sweepstakes and where that $12 or so is going towards," Felicia Thompson of the Phoenix Better Business Bureau explained. She said the BBB is quite familiar with the Award Notification Commission.

"So, what we know about this commission is they are using very questionable tactics to catch people's attention and to ask them to pay to enter a sweepstakes," she said.

According to the Better Business Bureau, the Award Notification Commission's parent company is called Next-Gen, and it's based out of Kansas City. 

The BBB says it's not very fond of the company's marketing materials regarding millions of dollars in possible winnings and has even issued the company an F rating.

Next-Gen's website has a list of its winners from last year. Just two people won $1,000, and only four other lucky people won $100 or less. It's a far cry from the millions of dollars touted in the company's paperwork.

3 On Your Side tried emailing and calling the Award Notification Commission but we were unable to speak to anyone. 

As for Kimzin, he's out only $13, but he wonders how many people keep mailing in more money in hopes of winning those sweepstakes.

"I feel like it's the right thing to do [to] let people be aware of not making the same mistake I made the first time around and definitely don't make the second mistake."

The Better Business Bureau said when it comes to sweepstakes it's important to remember that you should never have to send money to win money or claim a prize.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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