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Scam Alert

You can read all about this scam at this site, which is just one of many that cover it.

http://www.ago.mo.gov/newsreleases/2001/070601.htm

And another:

http://haacked.com/archive/2007/03/23/devious-scam-in-which-the-check-they-send-you-clears.aspx


James,
Please let me know if this letter is valid or a fake.

The letterhead says IGC -Interactive Gamng Commission
It is dated Nov. 5, 2007
It is titled Award Claim Final Notification

Dear Gwen
This is to inform you of the official release of the 2007 Sweepstakes Lottery held on June 19th, 2007 in the 2nd category. A ticket with serial numbers NY 007544052 attached to your name drew the lucky winning numbers.
11-29-36-51-63
We have made many unsuccessful attempts to contact you regarding this winning. Your are entitled to the sum of $60,000.00 US dollaors. This is from total prize money of 300.00.00 dollars that was shared and presented among 5 declared winners. Please note that all the participants were selected through a random coputer ballot system drawn from over 100,000 names.
Your ref. number is GC/375/1007 and in accordance with our disbursement policy your prize money has been forwarded to our clearing/disbursement institution to release your funds to you either by certified check, money order or wire transfer to your designated local bank.
To expedite the processing, enclosed is a check for $3,426.67 US Dollars which has been deducted from your winning. You will be using some money on this first check to pay for the clearance and applicable taxes on your winning ($60.000.00).
The applicable taxes are to be paid by wire transfer.
The enclosed check needs to be deposited into your bank account but please contact your claim agent for further instructions to finalize your claim.
We take your privacy very seriously. Our policy is to never share your information with others. At no time is any of our information made available to other parties. We advise you to keep your reference code and winnings confidential until your claim have been properly processed and funds remitted to you as this is part of our security protocol to avoid any double claims. Please contact your claim agent Mrs. Jennifer Brown at 905 462 0207 for furthers clarifications and instructions on claiming your winnings.
Note: If we do not get contact from you within a specific period of time we shall assume the enclosed check amount as lost and winning unclaimed. The check will cancelled and declared null and void.
Congratulations
Diane Hartford
(Promotion Manager)

This seems too good to be true, James. The check even looks authenic ...It is wrote to me from Cigna Life Insurance Company of Canada, P O Box 15050, Wilmington, De 19850 USA

It is made out for $3,426.67

If it is a scam, do they plan on getting that much money honored by my bank? Then if it bounces, I would be responsible?


Thanks, Gwen

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Comments (29)

Oldman:

Hay Gwen, I noticed that you were getting some great advice from lots of NICE people .. BUT I AIN'T NICE, NEVER BEEN ACCUSED OF BEING NICE ..... ARE YOU BLOND???????

Ann Isom:

This is an absolute scam, but I sent them an email back stating that if they need all my info and I have won all that money then they should just go ahead and bring it to me. I would be happy to pay back their expenses and even send them to Disney for the day {i live in fl.}I didn't get another email from that one. Still get them all the time, but just delete.

Gwen Puffer:

Thanks everyone for the comments. I called the Nashville BBB & they referred me to phone busters in Ontario, Canada. I complained on their site. I have also referred the check & letter to Cigna. I still need to do the Federal Trade Commission and Attorney General. I went to one site James referred me to but they only took complaints from the US. I am also thinking about reporting to Bank of America also. Thanks again.

Ann:

I get 3-5 of these letters in my SPAM mail every day I just email them back and ask them to take my name email address etc off their list. I feel it is BULL and I am Not sending you any info on me. If I won then YOU already have all my info

nancy:

I have been recieving 2-3 of the award notifications for the last two weeks. I hit the phishing on toolbar. Wonder if this has something to do with the fact it's near our holiday, and we all could use some extra cash, LOL. Hope no one falls prey to these scams.
James, thanks for keeping us abreast.

Rita Burns:

I have my security set for maximum so this stuff goes to my junk mail. I just click the "report phishing scam" icon at the top and it goes away. I have gotten them from all over, this one,Microsoft, even soldiers in Iraq! Just delete them or put them in the "phish tank".

Rita

Jim Ellis:

James:
I had some fun on my old computer just before I replaced it. Went back and forth with scammers for almost a week. Went great until they asked for up-front expense money. Told them to send check and after 60 days I would send them their money; never heard from them again! Also used an email address that I'll never use again.

dea:

Yes - it's a scam! I found a great website called Scam-O-Matic (because of one of these type things - mine was from "microsoft"). You just cut & paste the e-mail to them and (for free) they check it against previously known & upcoming scams and e-mail you back to let you know what they think. Be careful all!

peggy:

Oh the cruel people who send these things, we who are just getting by on our paychecks may be tempted by these scams. The one I got with a check look so good. But I knew it was a scam and took it to my bank so they could notify the proper people. My check had on it that it was from Geico (which is my insurance company) and they do look so real. Please be careful everyone so they can't steal from you.

vincette:

i also get at least 3 of these winning lottery notifications EVERYDAY. they are fakes. most of the ones i get are from nigeria, africa, and the uk.
theyre from these countrys because of lack of expidition laws. also my mom had a problem selling some jewelry on ebay with some nigerian people. someone bought her bracelet, and she even recieved a notification from pay pal the money was put in her acct. except the notification from pay pal was a fake, and by then she had already mailed the bracelet. then the same buyer contacted her again, and wanted her to buy him a digital camera, a lap top, and something else if forgot what it was, and she was spoze to send these items to the buyer and they would "send her the money". she reported it and the authorities said they were investigation thousands of these scams everyday.
fortunatly she only lost out on the money for the bracelet. she could have got "hit" for so much more.
SO PLEASE DONT FALL FOR THESE SCAMS. IF IN DOUBT, CHECK IT OUT!!!

rhondette3:

first and foremos.if it sounds too good to be true it usually isnt.
2nd if you dont enter you could not have won.3rd no one from another country that is poorer than us is going to send you more money than you have ever seen
ask friends that use computers chances they got the same thing...and there cant be 2 winners. call the bbb they will tell you ..
be careful.

Terri:

This is a scam and it is used for more than "lottery wiinnings. My son got a check like that, he was to deposit it then use Western Union to send them some money back. He had puppies he was selling and they told him they wanted 2 puppies, he did speak with them on the phone, they called him. Then he got the check- so it's more than just supposed lottery winnings. The check my son got looked real too, he checked at the bank and they even thought it was real. But when he said he was supposed to send them money the bank looked into it more- the check was no good. It would have bounced and he would have been responsible, plus the scammers would have gotten money from him through Western Union. So even if the check looks real does not mean it is real.

Danielle:

I am a banker and see this type of thing all of the time. They get you to wire them money (once you've negotiated the check through your account) & then as the check is deemed fraudulent, you, the account holder, are responsible for replacing the funds. Since it's your account & you willingly cashed the check, YOU are responsible (dumb I know) for the funds. I recommend that you file a claim with the Federal Trade Commission (be sure to include copies of any documents you have) & the Attorney General. Usually these people work out of Canada & cannot be traced for prosecution. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, if you ever do win the lottery, they will not ask you to wire them funds first before you collect your winnings. Legit state lotteries will have you come in (in person) and show ID & fill out a 1099. Be careful & I hope this helps even if it is long winded.

Mike P:

i like to mess with these people i will just give them my phone number and when they call me just have fun saying stupid stuff to them and see how far i can do it until they hang up :o)

Judy Ault:

I get at least 10 - 12 'winning' notifications every week from the UK !! they say that my e-mail
addresswas "randomly "picked and all i have to do is 'fill in' my info and claim my money!! Yeah! Sure!!

Dana Byrd:

THIS IS A SCAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOW GETTING ACCESS TO REAL BANK ACCOUNTS FROM REAL COMPANIES. THE COMPANIES ARE NOT AWARE THAT THEIR BANK INFORMATION IS BEING SOLD AND USED FOR THIS PURPOSE. THE CHECK MAY NOT BOUNCE, BUT ONCE THE COMPANY FINDS OUT THAT YOU JUST WITHDREW A FRAUDLENT CHECK FROM THEIR CHECKING ACCOUNT THEY CAN TURN YOU IN FOR CHECK FRAUD!! SO EVEN IF THE CHECK LOOKS AUTHENTIC AND YOU VERIFY THAT THE MONEY IS IN THE ACCOUNT YOU WILL STILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS TRANSACTION...WHILE THE SCAMMER IS LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK.

Brenda:

Listen to these responses!
I, too, receive several of these "offers" every day--remember the old saw, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!" When I open my InBox, the first thing is to scan for
suspicious or unknown send-
ers, check each of them, and hit "SPAM". That way, they don't get opened, even
by accident. "Eternal vig-
ilance is the price of
safety! Brenda

Debbie:

I also know people who have received the same letter and check, and when they checked it out, it was not true. I think it is a way for them to get your banking info. When you deposit the check, they can go back and get your bank info and do all kinds of things in your name. For your own safety, don't even think about cashing that check! When the check is endorsed, the bank stamps the ABA and account numbers on the back of it. All they have to do is look at a copy of the check online, unless the people actually get copies back in the mail, which would be stupid on their part, and there is your information right on the back of the copy they get back.

Donna:

No Dont, we had a woman in our area that fell for this and it cost her so much money that it put her in a deep depression and she ended up taking her own life. Its not worth it people. If you want to be 100% sure take the check to your bank go up to one of those assistance desks ,bring your letter and show them and ask them if your check is real BEFORE you deposit it in your account and create a world of havoc.

Marsleen Kerr:

I have received several of these scam emails...I send them a reply back saying...HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK I AM TO FALL FOR YOUR STUPID SCAMS!!! I have not received one since!! LOL!!

CAT:

I GET THESE FROM NIGERIA, UK, AFRICA...YOU NAME IT.
I HAVE HEARD IT ALL.
A FEW STILL SLIDE INTO MY EMAIL, BUT USUALLY THE BULK CATCHES IT.

SCAM...SCAM...SCAM...SCAM.

CAT:

I GET THESE ON A DAILY BASIS. IF IT COMES TO YAHOO EMAIL...CLIK SPAM AND YOU WONT GET FROM THAT PERSON AGAIN.
YOU CANT CLIK ON EVERYTHING.
DONT EVER CLIK ON THE EMAILS THAT SAY YOU HAVE A CRUSH WAITING, OR YOU RECEIVED A CARD FROM A FRIEND....IT IS A VIRUS.

SOME PEOPLE HAVE TO LEARN...YOU CAN NOT CLIK ON EVERYTHING.

MARY:

I GET THESE ALL THE TIME DO NOT FALL FOR THIS. I GET LIKE 2 TO 3 A DAY IF NOT MORE. I HAVE NOT RECIEVED A CHECK OR ANYTHING IN THE MAIL~ IF YOU WANT YOU COULD TAKE THIS TO A LAWYER AND SEE IF IT REALLY LEGIT. BUT IT SOUNDS PHONY TO ME. GOODLUCK.

Linda Seifert:

Stop,Stop,don't fall for this...SCAM,SCAM...My sister in-law also works for a bank and they had a eldery client who fell for one of these and ended up losing so much almost everything she had...

wendy:

I get slammed with tons of these phony e-mails saying i won and it's not even for anything i've entered.I've also received checks that look 100% real but my sister works at a bank and she looked at a few of my so called"checks"and said they were fake.She says people get scammed by this all the time and sometimes the tellers don't look close enough and will cash them.Sounds good until they start bouncing and the overdrafts are huge.Then if you try and sue you'll get nowhere.There is a new commercial out that show a guy going up to a lady on the bus and he tells her shes won a large amount of money but she needs to pay for the taxes or something and the guy is a grungy looking bum.Then the voice over says you'd never fall for that in person so why do it on the computer.Makes a lot of sense,huh?Be careful and don't be one of those who fall victim to these pitfalls.If your not sure try and find the company or ask a lawyer.

Lisa:

Checks bounce. Wires are cash. By the time the check fails to clear, you've already wired out real funds. PLEASE don't fall for this...

James:

right, but she got an actual check in the mail!
sure, I win a million (or more ) bucks every day on here, but i've never actually gotten a legitimate looking check.

Steve:

It called the Nigerian Scam. I get 2 or 3 a day because I enter so many freebie sites and contest. Just remember that if you win anything, you don't have to pay for ANYTHING.

Wayne Federline:

PLEASE NO!!! I get at least one letter a week from all corners of the earth saying I have won X-amount of dollars. Please just say NO! I enter all kinds of sweeps & lotteries but I have many friends in Law and when I tell them about these so called contest, once I see that damn grin on their face...I know better!

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