Watching Out For Contest Scams
Everyone has won prize from an online contest. If you do not believe this just check your spam box. Although some are legitimate, most are not. There are a number of ways to determine if one is likely to be a scam and avoid being taken by someone you will never see.
When you receive information on a contest, try to find out information on it as quickly as possible. You will need its terms and conditions at the very least in order to determine not only how you were entered and how to collect the prize, but also where the winner's name will be posted. Even if the terms and conditions are poorly written it is better than nothing, and will at least give you an idea of what is going on. If possible, also find out why it is being run; ideally they are some sort of service site and they just want you as a customer.
You should also be concerned if there are some minor issues that look hinky. An example of this is that the contest has a foreign origin. In and of itself it is not a cause for worry, especially given the international nature of the web, but do go into it looking for a nasty surprise. Also, never respond to a mobile PIN request; they rarely pan out, and usually you are going to be out money rather than getting any. It should be noted that some sites will send you an SMS that you need to respond to,but that you need to accept the fees for that is buried in the terms and conditions.
Sending you a large number of e-mails is not in and of itself a bad sign, especially if you have an option to unsubscribe. Also, e-mails that you may have won a prize are not necessarily something to be wary in and of itself. However, you should approach any e-mail that you have won something with suspicion just to be safe. Given all of the scams out there, a little paranoia can be a good thing, especially with your bank account at stake.