Leary of Providing your Phone Number?

Each week I feature some of the emails and messages I receive in my Contact form on the site if I find they can be helpful to other readers. I felt this was a question that should be answered for those you might be wondering about including their phone number on a sweeps entry form.

From Cheryl:

leary of providing your phone numberWhen entering sweeps I am very leary of providing my Phone #. I know this is sometimes the way some companies notify you but I have found that it is also an opportunity for them to do a sales pitch or provide your # to other companies. The only # I have is my cell and I do not give it out to just anyone. If a # is required then I give a # I had or don’t enter. I do not want a home phone. Waste of money I don’t have to spend. How do you feel about this and what have you encountered? I really enjoy your site and it is much appreciated. Thanks.

Well Cheryl, unfortunately you will need to give a phone number for sweepstakes and giveaways if the sweepstakes you are entering requires it and in some cases if you want to win. You really don’t need to provide your phone number for Instant Win games however, some instant win games do have a sweepstakes portion that may require a phone number.

I have rarely been called when I won a prize but there have been times I was called so I would have missed those opportunities if I hadn’t given a phone number. If I enter something in my local area almost all of the time they call me instead of sending me an email or paperwork in the mail. Local radio and TV station are a good example of that.

Most legitimate sweepstakes will not contact you with a sales pitch and I have never heard of one selling personal information that I know of. But, there are legitimate sweepstakes to look out for that might call you with a sales pitch and they usually have a clause in the official rules that says by entering it gives them the right to call you about their product or service or send you promotional information.

It might look something like this:

Promotional Information. By entering the Contest, you agree that Sponsor may send you advertising, promotional, and other informational material. You may opt out of receiving these materials at any time by notification to Sponsor.

Or here’s one for a Rascal Scooter:

By entering, participants consent to contact by mail, phone, and any other electronic means from Electric Mobility (dba The Rascal Company) and the Rascal Company of Canada regarding our products.

Some of the companies I have had a problem with in the past are:

  • Cruise lines (not sweepstakes offering cruise but cruise lines running a sweepstakes)
  • Craftmatic beds
  • hottub companies
  • Rascal Scooters and similar
  • Window and siding companies

One specific one you want to avoid is Feature Films for Families and Focus on the Family. They will call you everyday after you enter. I entered last year and they are still calling me. I’m still trying to figure out how to get them to stop.

A local company running a giveaway may not have a clause in their official rules and may not even follow official rules if they have them. Since they are running the giveaway themselves and the giveaway or sweepstakes is not being administered by a judging agency they often “fudge” the rules. But, you would never know it or be able to prove it. So, enter local giveaways cautiously as well if you don’t want to get called with a sales pitch. That is why I mentioned window and siding companies because they are notarious for this and they are usually local.

leary of providing your phone numberWhen you go to trade shows, flower, garden and home shows; motorcycle, vehicle, and RV shows; boating shows, Women’s Expos, etc. you see all of these booths giving away prizes. Yes, they do give the prizes away but those giveaways are there to get your name on their mailing list. You have to look at the prize and see if it is worth it before you enter the drawing.

I know from experience though, that even if I get on a mailing list from a show it doesn’t stay on there long sometimes or the company doesn’t ever do anything with it unless they are a larger company. Smaller companies just aren’t organized or motivated enough to follow through many times or they might just put you on an email list which is easier for them. We used to exhibit at these shows all of the time and by the time you get home you sometimes even forget where you put the box of entries and then putting them in a list format on your computer is so time-consuming that they often get thrown away.

Companies that do follow up from these type of shows would be:

  • Tupperware
  • Mary Kay Cosmetics
  • Arbonne Cosmetics
  • Bath Fitter
  • Vacation Clubs and Timeshares
  • Lia Sophia

You get the idea. Companies with party plans, they are chains, franchises, or are large enough to have staff to take care of those entries will most likely follow up.

What to do if you enter an online sweepstakes that requires a phone number?

If you want to enter a sweepstakes that requires a phone number you could always put 000-000-0000 (or whatever format the form requires) just to enter the sweepstakes. But, just be warned that you might miss out on a prize if that particular sweepstakes calls their winners.

With so many sweepstakes, giveaways, and instant win games online these days that notify winners by email your other option is just to skip those sweepstakes that require a phone number if you are uncomfortable with giving it out.

Disclosure: this sweepstakes listing may contain an affiliate or tracking link but we do not use referral links. Read about our policies for more details.

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  1. I was also curious about giving out your birthdate.Do you give out the correct date?

  2. Personally, yes, I do give out my birthday. I put all valid information in the entry form when entering a sweepstakes or giveaway because I want to make sure I have done what I need to do to win.

    The best thing to do is to just look for those companies that might be questionable and skip those sweepstakes.

  3. Male Enhancement says

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  4. Anonymous says

    I stupidly gave my phone number and checked the box that they could contact me, figuring they would just follow up with a phone call. I have been hounded with around 5 or 6 calls a day from doing this. I also got a creepy, pushy lady that called me and I had to eventually hang up on her. It has made me quit entering sweeps and it has become so annoying.

  5. It really depends on the sweepstakes you are entering. There is only one legitimate sweepstakes I know of that calls you and won't give up and that is from Focus on the Family. Other than that I never get called and I gave out my phone number all of the time.

  6. TossableDigits says

    You could always get a Virtual Phone Number from TossableDigits.com — use that number for all of your sweepstakes entries. Have it always go to Voicemail, then check it via email, the web or on your phone. Cheap privacy!


  7. You could also use Google Voice and get a free phone number that can be forwarded to your home or cell phone. This way you will not miss a call but you not be giving out your personal phone number.

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