I just received a certificate today instating that I have won $18, 500.00 but in order for me to receive the said winnings I have to pay a registration fee of $20.00 canadian. I tried to search for their company and address on their return envelope, the address does not exist. I am smart enough to know that if someone just won a lottery or sweepstakes, you are not suppose to pay anything until you receive your winnings to pay the taxes. Also bear in mind that if they already know your full information including your address to send you your certificate why do you need to register. Honestly this should ring a bell that is a scam.
A sweepstakes is a scam if:
1. They ask for money to claim a prize
2. They ask for your intimate info (ie. Banking Info, Credit Card, SIN, Drivers Licence etc.) No one should have this info except your employer, doctor and your job.
3. If they announce you out of nowhere as the winner when clearly you have no idea why you have just won something without joining.
Hope this helps.