Don't Fall for McDonald's Monopoly Boardwalk Scams

"I've Got Boardwalk, You've Got Park Place, Let's Trade!" Just say no.

Picture of a thief with a bag over his shoulder.
McDonalds Monopoly Trade Offers Are Just Scams. Image (c) Mimi Haddon / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Can You Really Score Half of a Million-Dollar Prize for Your Park Place Game Piece?

Every year, when the McDonald's Monopoly Sweepstakes is in full swing, you'll see offers all over the internet offering to trade game pieces. Be very aware: most (or all!) of these offers are scams.

For example, some people will say that they have Boardwalk, and they are willing to split the money with anyone who has Park Place.

However, this offer makes no sense. Park Place is a very common common piece, whereas Boardwalk is the rarest piece in the game.

According to the 2014 McDonald's Monopoly rules, the chances of getting Boardwalk are 1 in more than 651 million. The odds of getting Park Place are 1 in 11. So who would offer to give away $500,000 cash in order to avoid having to spend a few bucks on food or on stamps to request free codes until Park Place arrives?

Answer: scammers.

How Do Monopoly Game Piece Scams Work?

There are a few different tricks that scammers use to steal your money with a too-good-to-be-true offer:

  • Pay Me a Little Now, Keep the Big Prize for Yourself: After you contact the person who claims to have Boardwalk, he (or she) says that he'll sell you the piece for a fraction of the final payout. Maybe he's hurting for money, and he'll take just $50,000 now, and you can keep the whole million-dollar jackpot for yourself at the end of the giveaway!

    If you do it, you'll be out your money, and the game piece will never arrive.
    • I'll Pay You for Your Game Piece: This trick works the opposite way. The scammer will offer to pay you cash in advance for your rare game piece, and you won't have to worry about collecting the other pieces in the set.

      You'll send off the game piece, but you'll never receive the cash. Now you're out your money, and your prize.

      Keep Your Head, Don't Fall for Scams

      Don't fall for it. If you have a Rare McDonald's Monopoly game piece, your chances of winning are really high. Buy a few more fries or drinks, or send in for a few game pieces by mail, and you'll be set. Check out this article for the most cost-effective ways to collect the other pieces in your set: Get McDonald's Monopoly Game Pieces Cheap!

      If you have a common game piece, know that you're not significantly closer to winning until that rare game piece shows up. Even the most common of the rare collect-and-win game pieces (Mediterranean Avenue) has odds of 1 in 61,811 of being found. Keep your common pieces, just don't get too excited about them.

      And don't think you can trust that someone really has a game piece because they show you a photo. Photos are easy to fake.

      (Wondering whether the entire McDonald's Monopoly Game is a scam? Find out here)

      It's Not Just Boardwalk

      The Boardwalk game piece is most commonly used for scams because of its eye-catchingly high value.

      However, some scammers focus on other rare game pieces, because they hope that by seeming less greedy, they'll be more believable. The same rules hold for every rare game piece, however. Don't buy them. Don't trade for them. Don't sell them.


      If you see an offer to split a big prize for a common game piece, just ignore it. Do not give your contact information to anyone with such and offer, and certainly do not send them any money.

      Important: Don't forget that even common game pieces can turn into wins. Be sure to enter the codes into the online games for a sweepstakes entry and a chance to win instantly.

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