These people are a bunch of scam artists and will continue to operate until enough people report them and their associates to the proper authorities. Luckily I am not a victim but my fiance was almost sucked into their web of lies. How can these people do this you ask? Simple, times are tough and they probably receive a nice commission for selling their souls to cheat naive consumers.
Seriously people, you need to use your common sense. Did you look at their website? Did you even ask for their website? I can't even believe with all the money they're milking from people they can't even pay for a halfway-decent web designer. Any reputable large business has their own ad/promotional department. These little stands you see at malls and conventions are just to harvest your information. Google is your friend, use it. 10 seconds of searching brings up enough information on these people to make anybody want to turn running. They have a D- rating from the BBB for crying out loud.
So, my fiance fills out one of these contest forms at a small industry convention which she felt safe doing so. A couple weeks later she gets a call saying she won some trip to FL, park tickets, car rental blah blah blah. She listens to their whole pitch and her common sense kicks in and she grabs me and puts the call on speaker. She starts asking normal questions you would ask anybody asking for your credit card information and is immediately getting the runaround by some smooth talking slime ball. I've fired up our laptop and have already started pulling up their rap sheet. At this point we're smiling at each other while she asks them about all the scam claims she's finding on the internet. Of course more smooth talking sliminess follows. Now knowing they're the ones getting played with now they decide they're going to give the "prize" to somebody else.
Another reason people like this can operate is that few people actually follow through with their complaints. If they've taken you for money then you absolutely need to contact the BBB, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the State Attorney General. If enough actual complaints are received by these organizations then something substantial will be done. In our case, my fiance has also contacted the convention manager to voice her complaints about their vendor approval process and the possibility of her and her colleagues never attending a convention run by them again.