Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Here is another example of the fake check cashing lottery scam, going under the oh-so-creative name, "International Sweepstake". Here's how it works:
The scammer sends a victim an letter saying you won a lottery.
The scammer encloses a very real-looking check (or cheque). It is actually a counterfeit, fake, fraud, scam; but not a legal, valid check! You can go to this website and verify the routing number on the check and get the bank's phone number, then call the bank to verify that the account is real and the check is real.
The scammer instructs the victim to cash the check and use the money to pay taxes, handling fees or whatever by sending a Western Union or Money Gram to the processing representative, tax authority (but always one of the scammer, just using a different name, address, email address and/or phone number)
Western Union / Money Grams are irretrievable, meaning once you send it, the money is GONE. However, the check they sent you won't bounce until days or weeks later, and you are stuck with the full bill, and possible criminal charges for passing a bad check, forgery, fraud or worse.
-----Original Message from a victim ----- Sent: Thursday, February 01,
2007 10:01 PM
My father received a letter in the mail with a postmark from Toronto, Canada with a check in it. The address on the inside letter is Department V90-146-A2 5300 Commerce Court West 199 Bay Street Toronto, M5L 1B9 The body of the letter is as follows: International Sweepstake."
The check enclosed had the name "ASCAP" on it, with an address of
One Lincoln Plaza
New York, New York 10023
I did a google search and found ASCAP and it is "The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers." Thank you in advance for checking into this.
Notice the many misspellings, which we highlighted:
You have been declared a lucky winner of the International Sweepstake. You claim number has been assigned to our North American claim affiliate with a serial Number: XXXX-XXX-XXX which consequently put you in the winner's prize list. You are therefore entitled to claim the sum of $50,000.00 (Fifty Thousand US Dollars)
Enclosed in this letter is a ceck of $2,950.00 which was deducted from your winning. This enable you pay your government applical taxes on your big winning. The tx amount is $2,700.00 to be paid through WESTERN UNION OR MONEY GRAM in your location.
Your prize award money has been forwarded to our claring disbursement agency with the instructions to release your funds a day after all clearance has been made to help us proceed with your claims, this information must be kept away from publicity to avoid unwarranted abuse of the probram or any fraudulent act from auathorised individual. In accordance with our disbursement policy, any person who makes a false representation or attempt to fila a false claim will be prosecuted unter the full extent of the International laws. The winning processing agency reserveds the right to report such information to federal taxing authorities as may be required by law.
In order to avoid unnecessary delays in processing your payment, contact the Processing agency Immediately and speak to your assigned claim repersentative Mr. Randy J. Collins at telephone Number 1-647-829-6176
(Allens signature is here)
ALLEN H. CLIFFORD. (CLAIMS DIRECTOR)
"Enclosed in this notification letter is a check of $2950.00 which was deducted from your winning. This enables you pay your government taxes. International Chase Manhattan Bank USA, N.A. Wilmington, DE 19801