Mail Lottery Scam Reported
Chief Deputy Rob Haught of the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office reported a new scam has hit the area. This time, the scam is originated through a letter that comes to homes stating the recipient has won a lottery.
The letter contains a professional-looking check for a large sum of money made out to a bank in Seattle.
The letter instructs the recipient to cash the check, then send a portion of that money to the sender to pay for “government taxes” and a “processing fee.” However, should anyone do as the letter instructs, the check will bounce and the person who cashed the check will be responsible for paying that amount.
Unlike other scams, Chief Deputy Haught says the information provided in the letter is very well done and appears legitimate.
However, Haught warns that any such documents from any foreign location are likely to be scams. Furthermore, he stresses that if you receive any kind of reward without having entered a contest, it is most definitely a scam.
The following is what is written in the letter you may receive from the International Claim Division of Burlington, Ontario. The public is advised that should you receive a letter with such statements, report to the WCSO immediately, as this notification is a scam. The letter heading states: “Winning Notification. Shoppers Point of Sale Lottery.” The body of the letter reads:
Following the official results of international sweepstakes drawn on May 19, 2011, in London, UK for frequent shoppers, wherein your name was randomly selected by the computer data base of our North-American claims department and as such, emerged a winner with other 10 declared winners in the 7th category. You are therefore a winner of the sum of $50,000.00 USD.
Winning No. 1-7-17-27-39.
We are pleased to inform you that your file has been assigned to our North American claims affiliate for the remittance of your funds. Enclosed also is the check amount of $3,950.00 to enable you to pay the applicable Government Taxes and processing fees of $2,400.00. You will receive the balance of your winning after the Government applicable fees are paid. Please do not attempt to use the check until you call. The fees are payable through a government tax agent. You are advised to contact your claim agent for your tax agent information immediately Monday through Fridays between 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) for further clarification.
Dan Foster (claim agent)
Direct line: 1 905-781-5407
Sarah B. Smith (promotions director)
The WCSO assumes more letters will turn up in homes in the area.
For more information on this scam or to report received documents of this kind, call 304-455-2430.