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A Clever Lottery Scan and How to Avoid It

Updated on November 15, 2016
Chuck profile image

A part-time college economics & finance instructor who began his career in banking, Chuck frequently writes on money & economics on HubPages

If it is Too Good to be True, It Probably Is!

A number of years ago I attended a math workshop where one of the presenters explained probability theory by demonstrating that the probability of winning the jackpot in the Arizona Lottery by purchasing a ticket were almost the same as the odds of winning without buying a ticket.

In other words, the odds of a person winning the lottery by finding a ticket on the sidewalk are just slightly less than are the chances of winning by purchasing a ticket.

Well, last week, I won the lottery without ever entering.

No, it wasn't the jackpot or even any of the lesser prizes in the Arizona lottery. And, no, it wasn't an email informing me that I had won a lottery and asking for my bank account and Social Security numbers so they could deposit the winnings to my bank account.

Caveat Emptor!

This was a letter delivered in a plain window envelope with a return address to a post office box in Mexico, Missouri on the back flap.

It was addressed to me by name and, when I opened it, a check, made payable to me in the amount of $2,950, fell out.

At first I assumed that it was a solicitation for a mortgage refinance and the check a gimmick that could only be used for some of the fees. However, it was a real check from a real bank with no strings attached – I could deposit it and spend the money as soon as the check cleared.

This was obviously too good to be true – and it was.

The letterhead on the accompanying letter identified the lottery sponsors in big letters as:




Here I had won a lottery sponsored by Party Bingo Lottery Inc. which is located on Gibraltar (the large rock island at the west end of the Mediterranean Sea).

But the check they sent was from a company called Gold Crest Distributing, LLC which is located in an out of the way burg of 13,000 residents in northeastern Missouri. The guys behind this were obviously keeping a very low profile.

Reading on, it got more interesting. In the second paragraph I learned that my name was selected by computer from a world-wide data base belonging to readers digest publishers clearing house, computer games sweepstakes.

Wow! The Reader's Digest Sweepstakes, which I hadn't heard from in years, let alone entered, and Publishers Clearing House who also gave up mailing me years ago have now joined forces and the new management doesn't know that proper names (like a company name) should be capitalized!

The third paragraph informed me, in bold print, that I must immediately deposit the enclosed $2,950.00 check to my bank account in order to pay the States Lottery and Gaming Commission Agency.

The sentence continued (these guys apparently don't know the difference between a paragraph and a sentence as each paragraph consists of a single run on sentence) by informing me first, that the $2,950 fee had to be paid to this gaming commission before my winnings could be released.

Second, that they would be deducting a 7% handling charge of $3643.50. After the payment to the Gaming Commission and the handling charge my net winnings would be $48,406.50.

While their grammar skills left much to be desired, their math worked out to the penny.

The third paragraph obviously had all kinds of red flags, the first being who is the States Lottery and Gaming Commission Agency?

Under the U.S. and Canadian federal systems, the U.S. has 50 states and Canada 10 provinces each with their own government and each having authority to regulate and tax lotteries and other types of gambling within their borders.

In these states and provinces which allow gambling there is an entity known as the Lottery and Gaming Commission, Lottery and Gaming Agency or some similar name. However all of them include their state or province name, such as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission and none have a name that ends with Commission Agency - they are usually either a commission or an agency, but not both.

The real question was, how was this supposed States Lottery and Gaming Commission Agency going to get their money by my depositing of the enclosed check to MY bank account?

Was I then to turn around and write a check and mail it to them for the $2,950? If that was the case, would it not be easier to simply endorse the check to them rather than depositing it and writing a new one?

Further, whenever possible, governments prefer to deal with paying agencies rather than with individuals which is why the IRS insists that our employers over calculate what we will owe on income taxes and send it to the IRS directly rather than giving us our full pay and having us pay the government ourselves.

Should I Cash this and Not Pay the Lottery and Gaming Commission Agency?

It is much easier and cheaper to enforce the tax law on thousands of businesses rather than millions of people.

Therefore, why wasn't this Party Bingo outfit sending the tax money directly to the authorities rather than to me? I couldn't be because they didn't know where to send it as their letter implied that they would not release my winnings to me until they had verification that the money was paid.

I knew it was a scam and was not about to deposit the check, despite pleas from my 17 year old son to do so (probably hoping that I would share part of my good fortune with him), as I was certain that it would bounce and I would end up paying $25 or more in bank service charges for depositing a bad check.

Have you ever received one of these checks and considered cashing it despite knowing you would eventually have to replace the funds?

See results

I Knew it Was a Scam But Wanted to Understand How it Worked

But I couldn't figure out how the scamers would benefit from my paying a service charge to may bank. Was it possible for me to turn the tables on them by depositing the check and then not make the telephone call to 1-902-412-8972 for further instructions as instructed in the next paragraph.

Sure, I would forfeit the the remaining $48,406.50, which was obviously bogus, but I would still be $2,950 richer.

However, that was too easy, and I was certain that these fellows were not about to risk thousands of their own money by sending out hundreds of $2950 checks in hopes that everyone would respond as planned.

I received the check on the 16th and had until Friday the 19th (according to the letter) to deposit it – this too, was a red flag as the pressure to hurry meant that they were in a hurry to wrap up the operation and flee with their money before the law caught up with them.

The Assistant Bank Manager Recognized the Scam Instantly

On Friday I went to the bank on other business and, while there, asked the teller what could happen if I deposited check, adding that I knew it was a scam and was just trying to figure out how it worked.

She laughed and told me to see the Assistant Manager who had a lot of experience with these lotteries. As soon as she saw the letterhead, the Assistant Manager laughed and said “so you got one of these too!”

Obviously half of Tucson had won this lottery.

The Assistant Bank Manager Explained How the Scam Works

The Assistant Manager then explained how the scam worked.

Gold Crest Distributing, LLC is a legitimate company in Mexico, Missouri. I already knew that having looked them up on the Internet and discovering they had no connection to lotteries. Instead, they were a company that manufactured novelties for companies to give away at trade shows.

The characters behind the lottery had stolen the checks, most likely by obtaining one of the company's blank checks and then reproducing fakes with their computer and printer.

When people received and deposited these checks the check would clear because the company would have enough money to cover them along with their other operations in the near term. Once a check cleared the money would be available for the depositing individual to withdraw.

Those running the scam a month at the most between the time the checks began clearing and the accounting department at Gold Crest received their bank statement and noticed the series of check for $2,950 that the company hadn't written.

This was why it was so important for the winners to deposit the checks immediately and then call the telephone number in the letter for further instructions. When the winners made the phone call they would be instructed to withdraw the $2,950 in CASH and then take it to Western Union and send it to the States Lottery and Gaming Commission Agency or other dummy corporation in Gibraltar.

An agent for the dummy corporation would pick up the cash from Western Union and before the end of the month the operation would be wrapped up and the money probably moved again via Western Union or other means to some place beyond the reach of the governments of the areas where the scam took place.

Once the fraud was discovered it would be reported to Gold Crest's bank which would then inform the banks which had cashed the checks that they were forgeries. These banks would then inform their customers that the checks they had deposited were a fraud and to repay the $2,950 plus service charges for depositing a bad check.

Victims Who Deposit the Checks Will Have to Repay the $2,950 Plus Fees to the Bank

Schemes like this are frauds and the fraud will be reported. Once the target company, whose checks were forged, its bank will move to get the money back from the banks which cashed the checks and those banks will go after the customers who presented the checks for deposit.

BE WARNED that, in addition to having to repay the full amount of the check plus bank service charges for depositing a check that is returned to the bank, you can face criminal prosecution if you receive and deposit one of these checks KNOWING that it is a fraudulent check.

In the comments below some writers have indicated that they considered or are considering depositing such checks and using the money to solve a short term financial problem while knowing that the check is stolen.

Victims Will Also Have to Explain to the FBI Why They Participated in this Fraud

This is ILLEGAL and will get you in trouble with both Federal and local authorities (bank deposits are insured by the FDIC - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - which is an agency of the Federal Government and the FBI investigates crimes involving banks).

Despite their high rates, you would be better off utilizing a Pay Day Loan company for short term cash problems rather than depositing one of these checks.

While technology was obviously used in the operation for things like printing the checks and moving the money, the scam itself was not tied to the Internet.

However, like similar Internet scams, this was just a variation of the age old bait and switch operations where scamers dangle something enticing in front of their marks, get the marks to pay and then skip town before the mark discovers that the promised object never existed.

Why Scammers Always Win and Their Marks Always Lose

These scams work because the victims are blinded by the prospects of something for nothing while, at the same time, reassured by the apparent legitimacy of the operation.

Greed and gullibility are the tools of the scamers trade as they have been for centuries. Since the days of ancient Rome we have had the saying Caveat Emptor! which translates into English as Buyer Beware!

While never a legal concept, it has always been a bit of folk wisdom that has saved those who followed the advice billions of dollars over the millenia while those who have ignored it have probably lost a greater amount in that time.

Other useful sayings to ponder when encountering these too good to be true opportunities include:

“There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

See my Hub entitled Money Laundering Jobs Aplenty for information on a similar scam that dupes people into accepting jobs as Financial Agents, or some similar title, from foreign based criminals to assist the criminals in moving stolen money from countries like the U.S., Canada, Australia, Western Europe, etc. to East European or Asian countries where the criminals operate from.

Text of Letter

Below is the text of the letter I received. I have attempted to copy the run on sentences, odd wording and other errors as they appeared in the letter. If you read it carefully, it is actually quite humorous. You can see the general layout of the original letter in the digital image above. Enjoy.




JANUARY 3RD, 2007.

Chuck Nugent

(My address)

Tucson AZ


After numerous attempts to reach you by phone have failed, we are pleased to inform you through this letter that our network system shows you as the lucky winner of unclaimed prize money in the amount of $ 55,000 USD. The system indicates that you were selected as a winner for the 2007 Holiday season sweepstakes draws

All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from readers digest publishers clearing house, computers games, sweepstakes data base, are from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North and South America, South Africa and Asia, as this is our International Promotions Program, which is conducted monthly. CONGRATULATIONS!

Enclosed is a check of $2950.00 USD, {TWO THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS} payable to you and must be deposited into your bank account immediately to pay for your registration with the States Lottery and Gaming Commission Agency, which must be paid before we can release your balance in the amount of $48406.50 excluding 7% handling charges in the amount of $3643.50 deducted from your total winnings.

Your claim number is ELM-CLMS-2007-00134. We ask that you keep your Claim number confidential secured till your claim has been properly processed and funds remitted to you as this is a part of our security protocol to avoid any DOUBLE CLAIMS.

Code of conduct, ethics and underage gambling and responsible gaming: We see gambling as a legitimate form of entertainment that is enjoyed by millions of adult worldwide, however we also realize that there may be players who are underage or let gambling assume to a large role in their life. As a result we are very conscious to advertise and operate responsibly so as to protect and assist problem gamblers to identify their addiction and seek counseling

ALL prize money must be claimed not later than the 19th of JANUARY 2007 at which any unclaimed funds shall be forfeited.

Please call your North America claim agent MARIA WILLIAMS at 1 902 412 8972 upon receipt of this notification for further instructions.

We wish you and your family all the best for a safe and happy new year.

Yours Sincerely,

Yvonne Normand Cloven Cequine

© 2007 Chuck Nugent


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    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 2 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Chelsa - Sorry to hear about your loss. It sounds like they got your name and telephone number from your entry. If you had entered this lottery and then received a call saying you had won what did they say that caused you to send them money? As far as getting your money back I doubt that you will be able to but you should call the police to report this and give them the address where you sent the money. Also, if you sent them a check or money order there might still be time to contact your bank or the seller of the money order and put a stop payment on it which could prevent them from getting the money and you losing it. If you paid by credit card over the phone you should contact your credit card company to try and get the money back (you might also want to ask for a new card with a different number in case they try to make additional charges with your credit card number.

      Good luck in trying to resolve this and don't send them any more money.

    • profile image

      Chelsea 2 years ago

      I'm need of your help now. I'm being scammed as we speak.i received a call saying I won the lottery millionaire sweepstakes, which I entered. Once I heard they news I was kind of nervous n scared,like is this for real so I easily was entertain n went along we with it. I've sent them 200.00 today. Tomorrow they will be calling for more money. I'm not that crazy now that I've realize it's a scam. How do I get my 200.00 back. AND PUT A STOP TO THESE PEOPLE. I WISH I WOULD OF READ THESE STORIES BEFORE TODAY. in need of your help

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 4 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Reg Zooka - thanks for your comment and I am glad you enjoyed this Hub.

      As to my reference sites, the outside input I had on this was the assistant manager at the local branch of Chase Bank where I had a checking account at the time. I knew it was a fraud from the start. Upon reading the letter three red flags immediately popped into mind. First, I supposedly won a lottery that I hadn't entered and it was a foreign one paying the proceeds in U.S. dollars to boot - winning this was possible but not very probable. Second, the grammar in the letter indicated that the writer was not familiar with formal business English despite the company being headquartered in the British European territory of Gibraltar. Third, why was a European corporation using a rural Missouri bank and not simply sending the tax due directly to the IRS instead of something called "The States Lottery and Gaming Agency".

      The assistant branch manager explained that the promise of the bigger payout and the need to pay taxes on the winnings was intended to distract people from the fact that it was a forged check cashing scam and not a more common lottery scam which the object was to obtain a target's banking information for the purpose of looting their bank account.

      Once the assistant branch manager explained how the scam worked I understood the logic and logistics behind the scam from my previous experience in banking. A few Google searches regarding the novelty company whose name was on the checks, the bank on which the checks were drawn and the 900 phone number (which was a temporary number registered to an entity in Newfoundland, Canada and which had already been canceled and the entity's office closed after a month in operation) gave me further insight into how this operation worked.

      Finally, as a periodic user of Western Union to send money to my wife's family in Europe for Christmas and birthdays I knew how easy this process was. From banking I also know that taking or sending $10,000 or more in cash outside the United States is illegal unless the transaction is registered. By sending thousands of people checks for $2,950 and having them cash the checks and send the money to an agent overseas gets around the $10,000 or more registration requirement while still bringing in potentially thousands of dollars or more quickly and then disappearing with the money before being discovered.

      By explaining the scam I hoped to help educate readers about how the scam worked and thus know to avoid it. However, free money is difficult to turn down and many people are still victimized by this lure of something for nothing which has been going on probably since pre-historic times..

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      webwatcher 4 years ago

      Thanks a ton for your superb content. Do you happen to also have your reference sites? Reg Zooka

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 4 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Tony - Thanks for visiting and for your comment.

      As I pointed out in the text above, what these scamers are doing is illegal. But it is both difficult to catch them and even more difficult to get the money back for those who have been duped even when scamers are caught and arrested.

      I once read a review of a book that a history of scams in America from colonial days to the present. The review's author concluded with two observations. The first was how similar the scams were over the 300 years or so covered in the book.

      The second was the observation was that the main constant in these scams was the greed and recklessness of the victims. People who were normally cautious with their money and wouldn't consider investing a portion of their savings in the stock market because of the potential risk, thought nothing of mortgaging their home and taking the proceeds along with their life savings and turning it over to a scamer with the expectation they would make a quick million dollars or so within the next week or two.

      You say "We should have a plan to stop foreign scamers..." and you are correct except the "We" in question has to refer to us as individuals making our own decisions and not society as a whole or the government which already have plenty of laws against this type of crime.

      We, as individuals have to take responsibility and each develop our own plans to protect against scamers. The first step in the plan is to use our heads, rather than emotion when we are the target of the scam. In the Hub above I describe how I knew as soon as I glanced at the letter I knew it was a scam. How could I win a lottery that I had not only never heard of but also had never entered? I thought I might be able to turn the tables by cashing the check and simply keeping the money rather than following the instructions to forward it for the big prize.

      But since it was obviously a scam, I could not see the scamer being dumb enough (or have enough money) to send $2,950 checks to hundreds of people believing that all were dumb and greedy enough to fall for the scam. The key to a scam like this is to target thousands in hopes of a quick five or ten percent response that will make the effort worth while and still have time to disappear before the police can be alerted and act.

      As I explained in the Hub, there were other clues besides the fact that I had won a lottery that I had neither heard of nor entered. The wording of the letter was very unprofessional and contained numerous grammar errors. The check itself, while it looked real (and actually was a real, albeit forged) check. Also, why would a European lottery firm contract with a small Missouri producer of party favors to send out its checks?

      As I describe in the Hub there were many other things about the whole deal that didn't smell right even before I took time to investigate this. And I investigated it out of a curiosity to see how it worked as I had already concluded that it was not a legitimate offer.

      The best protection against becoming a victim of scams is to remember the ancient Latin term "Caveat Emptor" which translates "Buyer Beware". And if that isn't enough there is another truism of slightly more recent vintage and that is "If something seems too good to be true, it probably is". Ponder those two things for a while before responding to a scam offer and you will probably not become a victim.

    • profile image

      tony 4 years ago

      All the foreign scamers are targeting us. We should have a plan to stop foreign scamers to take advantage of us.

    • myownlife profile image

      myownlife 5 years ago from london

      Couple of times in the past, It made me think alot and tried to contact on given contact no. some numbers were hotel real no and some were personal mobile but was a bit concious that I shouldn't share my personal details including bank ac but later knew it was spam, fraud mails. And sometimes I used to get emails saying the person was beneficiary of the huge property so needed some money for legal procedure ...I believe a lot of people must have been victim .

      God bless everyone.

    • profile image

      shivani 5 years ago

      try better paragraphs

    • profile image

      hristina 5 years ago

      I got a letter today claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, saying I won $2,000,000. Then I saw they wanted $11 for some "mandatory fee" to receive my money.. too bad.. for 5 minutes, I was a millionaire.

    • profile image

      jon 5 years ago

      Thank you for the information.

    • moneymarketing profile image

      moneymarketing 5 years ago

      I've won the lottery, but were secondary prizes, I still hope to win the jackpot.

      I recently Hub on statistics and probabilities that have helped me greatly improve my chances of winning the lottery, won numerous awards!

    • profile image

      Kathy, Malaysia 6 years ago

      I received a letter today from Reader's Digest Malaysia (Finance Department) with affiliation with EON Bank inviting me to join a Super Contest Funds on Deposit. In my heart, i knew this was a scam but just didn't understand how it works. Now i get the picture. Thanx alot, Chuck for enlightening me! I know what to do the next time...

    • profile image

      FAY MCCHRISTIAN 6 years ago


    • profile image

      anonymous  6 years ago

      Gibraltar is not an island.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      whatever - Thanks for visiting and for your comment.

      As to the math, I believe that by buying a lottery ticket I am guaranteed at least 1 out of x chances of winning while relying on someone losing their ticket and me finding it decreases my odds of winning a particular lottery somewhat. However, over the course of a lifetime, the odds of finding a winning ticket are probably about the same as buying a winning ticket.

      As to wasting my time researching this, I don't consider this a waste of time as I not only got a good Hub out of it (for which I have earned more than the price of a state lottery ticket) but, as you can see from the comments above, have helped a number of people avoid this scam.

      I knew as soon as I read the letter that this was a scam. What I didn't know was how the scam worked given that I had what looked like a perfectly legitimate check made payable to me, drawn on a real bank (I verified that on the Internet) and from the account of a real company (I also verified the existence of the company).

      Even though it was obviously a scam, it appeared that one could outwit the scammers by cashing the check and keeping the money rather than sending it to them to pay the taxes as the letter requested. I knew there had to be a catch and, rather than simply shredding the letter and check, decided to investigate further. Again, if you read the comments above you will see that a number of people besides me thought they could do the same thing, namely keep the money and bypass the supposed winnings (and some actually did this before reading the Hub).

      Shortly after publishing this Hub I noticed that the Credit Union where I also have an account, put up signs at each teller window warning people about this scam and, four years later, those signs are still up, which tells me that this type of scam is still going on and must be profitable for the scammers.

      Oh, as to my paying for the workshop where the leader (a math professor who taught statistics) made the comment about one's chances of winning the lottery being almost the same whether one purchased a ticket or not, I did pay for it as that particular workshop was a part of a series of presentations in a professional development course I took and which led to advancement and a double digit increase in income. This lottery example was simply a very good attention getter that the presenter used to get the workshop going.

    • profile image

      whatever 6 years ago

      first of all, your chances of winning the lottery are not less by finding a random ticket on the ground rather than buying one. whether or not you pay for a ticket, you have 1 out of x number of chances. having a ticket grants you 1:x. i hope you didn't pay to attend this math workshop. if you did, a lottery scam is the least of your worries.

      secondly, did you really just waste however long it took you to write this article about some idiotic lotto scam? A hundred million people get them every day. if people don't realize they are scams, then they deserve to lose their money without you warning them. honestly, do you really think someone (even a legitimate gambling corporation) would just send you a cheque in the mail?

      you shouldn't have to be told to investigate these things. you should already know.

    • profile image

      Jtdiva 6 years ago

      Who can I get to investigate if this is a scam?

    • profile image

      Victoria 6 years ago

      I received one of theses two years ago. I went to the bank with it and the put in my account to see if it would clear. It never did then my bank closed my account. I never spent any of the money but my bank thought it was suspicious behaviour. Also sent my information to other banks. It's a bounk of B S. I agree if you get one DO NOT CASH IT!!!!

      I was really young and dumb when this happened. lol

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Jessica Noel - if you entered the sweepstakes and a check payable to you was not included with the letter this is probably legitimate.

      Also, the fact that they will be sending you two checks sounds like the larger one will be made payable to you and the other one to the government tax authorities. If the instructions are to send the second check to a government income tax office (verify the address) this would be another indication that you are dealing with a legitimate lottery.

      If you notice in both my Hub and in all the comments from people who have been targets of these scams, you get a letter and a check between $2,000 and $3,000 dollars payable to you with instructions to cash that check and then send the cash via Western Union to an entity in Eastern Europe. This is the main tip off as most Western governments not only accept checks for payment of taxes but also have offices within the country. I have never heard of Western tax authorities outsourcing the collection of tax payments to entities outside the country.

      Finally, in addition to you lawyer, show the checks to the manager at your local bank and that person can probably tell from looking at the check if it is a scam or not. I knew the check that I received was a scam (I had never heard of, let alone entered, the lottery in question) but couldn't figure out how the scam worked. The bank manager took one look at the check, smiled and said "... another one of these". When I asked how the scam worked she immediately explained as she apparently had had a lot of experience explaining to customers why they had to reimburse the bank for these checks after the customers had cashed them, sent the cash to the scammers via Western Union and the check had now been returned to the bank by the real owner of the account it was written on and saying it had been stolen and forged.

      Double check, but you are the first to comment here who appears to have actually entered and won a legitimate lottery. If that is the case enjoy your winnings.

    • profile image

      Jessica Noel 7 years ago

      Okay, I received a letter in the mail saying I had won 50,000 from sun trust bank which I had entered a sweepstakes off the internet, which I really did enter. So I figured it's a scam but I called the number anyway, they told me that I had won, that I would receive two checks in the mail. They said that I would have to pay 10% taxes on the check to the governemt which would be around 50,000 but that the taxes would be already taken out of my first check. So I asked the guy if this was a hoax you know if the checks would really be real and clear in my bank, and he said that this was not a scam. I told him that I was going to first give the letter to my lawyer and have him investigate and see if everything was giong to go through right and he said that I could do whatever I wanted with the check when I received it whether that was giving it to my lawyer or throwing it in the trash, he said that I could call him the day I received the check and he would talk to my lawyer and give him all the information he would need and that he would even talk to the bank..what do you think chuck, I am supposed to get the check this week.

    • profile image

      whoever 7 years ago

      Read the letter from Mr Alak Thong Siam City Bank.

      Anybody can tell me who is Victor Frank Harrison?

      > "Congratulations !!!

      We have issued the draft/cheque of your winning Prize US$ 1,000,000.00 ( One million united state dollars). It is ready for dispatch to your house address.

      Based on the value of draft/cheque, it is classified that it must be insured, before it can be dispatch to you. Haven now approved you as the rightful receiver of the winning cheque, to have the cheque send to you, all you have to do is to pay for the insurance/courier charges for shipment down to your address.

      We Believe the promotion company must have made you to understand that neither cent nor penny is deductible from any winners prize fund, as all winners prizes has been process and prepared accurately and can not be deducted to avoid misappropriation of funds.

      We have inquired for the cheque insurance/shipment through international express courier, it costs US$ 420 ( Four hundred and twenty dollars only).

      You are required to send this amount US$ 420 only via western union money transfer, for an immediate insurance/shipment of the cheque down to your house address.

      The payment should be made on this Bank officer name which is given below.

      Name: Victor Frank Harrison

      Address: 1101 New Petchburi Road Bangkok Thailand.

      Position: Bank Officer.

      Yours Sincerely,

      Mr Alak Thong

      Management Siam City Bank"

    • profile image

      disbelief 7 years ago


      required to contact the person in Siam City Bank in Thiland

    • profile image

      bob wallace 7 years ago

      just won 196,000 dlrs. ya im sure all i have to do is deposit the 4,362 dlrs after speaking with a certain person how do i report this and get these %^$#^%&& put in prison.

    • profile image

      woka 7 years ago

      My dad just got one of the Reader's Digest / Wachovia / Cracker Barrel scam letters.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      hurry - thanks for sharing your experience.

      The problem with trying to catch these people is that they operate from multiple locations and change locations quickly.

      In my experience that I related in the Hub above, the check was stolen from a company in a small town in Missouri, the phone number I was told to call was in Nova Scotia and the letter was mailed from someplace else. This meant that the crooks behind this were operating outside of the jurisdictions of the people they were scamming which made it difficult for law enforcement in those areas to do much. The U.S. Postal Service and FBI as well a Canadian federal authorities had jurisdiction but it takes time from local complaints to filter up to them and given the short time that the crooks stay in one place this doesn't leave much time to try to track them down.

      While it is always good to report receipt of such materials to the local post office and fraud unit of local law enforcement, the best way to stop such scams is to use common sense and not respond to their offers.

      As I said in the Hub, Milton Friedman's famous dictum "There is no such thing as a Free Lunch" applies to scams like this as well as freebies promised by politicians.

      Common sense told me that the odds of winning a lottery that I didn't enter were near zero. This coupled with the spelling and grammar errors in the letter accompanying the check I received, the fact that the check was not from the Lottery organization itself but a totally different company set off warning bells in my head. This plus the fact that they could have simply sent me a form to return authorizing them to pay the supposed taxes on the winnings rather than sending me the money and asking me to cash it and send the money back via Western Union. Also, why did I have to use Western Union when I could have written a check from the checking account I was supposed to have deposited their check into as this would have saved the rather steep Western Union fees?

      These scams are designed to play on people's greed - the desire to get something for nothing, and they are very successful which is why, despite all of the publicity surrounding them, they still flourish.

    • profile image

      hurry 7 years ago

      I got a check like that in Ar called the number to; the man said the check would clear just take it to your bank or any bank, but if it's not yours they might charge you a few dollars to cash it. it was not a lotto or any thing like that. it was one of those mystery shopper things the check was for 2500.00 and after you cash it. you have to use western union and see if they are doing their jobs right they are going to ask you some things , if you send over a certain amount.[ by law or something ,and you get to keep 100.00 to shop at any store you like and make a report out on where ever you shop the thing was is the check was on a company that is real and some one stoled the check from them and made copyies and they are try to rip that company off because their name is on the check and who ever stoled these checks from the company had to have worked there one time or nother. don't you think? what i did was took it to what ever company it was bank and tuned the man in. but there fraud dept is way over in Tulsa,Ok somewhere.the company's bank owns one here in AR. so i took it there and that nice teller lady faxed it to the fraud tulsa these banks are investagateing these people that are doing this and they will be caught. i really think they are trying to rip that company off. like trying to get the company's bank to stand good for it or something. and then charge the company. just because their name is on the fake checks. I really believe it some one who used to work for that company and old empoylee or someone that got fired . iwould start looking that way frist.but some people are so poor the banks are going to try and clear the check before they cash them. and don't forget check 21 law, I took copies of the letter he sent with the check to because i wanted to call him back and call him a damb lier but they said not to tip him off so may be they could trace the number or something cause it had his phone # on it.some one keeps calling my house and hanging up wonder if it's him ???if he is reading this, next time dude send cash [dumb ass ]I shouldn't make fun of this he is a bad man

    • profile image

      x action bob x 7 years ago

      I just received my check tonight. Pretty much the same deal. Mahard Egg Company in Prosper TX is on the check, and it's in the amount of 2,935.00 Although it does appear to be a real check, actually, I'm sure it is (just stolen). I plan to call the company that these checks come from tomorrow and let them know their account information has been compromised, and then turning the check and envelope over to the bank/or local law enforcement. Hopefully I can help any "gullable" people in my town avoid this crazy scam. Thanks for the site, good info here!

      x Action Bob x

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      Naresh 7 years ago

      Chuck - Thanks a lot. No ways of me falling into this trap.

      Even I have recd below Email -


      42 Park Avenue,

      Melbourne, Worchester,

      United Kingdom.

      (Customer Services).

      Attention: NARESH KULCHANDRA,

      Congratulations. We happily inform you that your winning prize of $1 500 000

      (one million five hundred thousand U.S DOLLARS) has been endorsed with your personal informations on a certified cheque by the correspondent Bank of YAHOO/MSN ONLINE LOTTERY and a British fund release document issued with your informations from the British economic/financial regulation department.

      Please find below our affiliate Bank information, you are expected to contact them immediately you receive this email, your winning Certified Cheque and British Fund release document and a YAHOO/MSN ONLINE LOTTERY winning certificate is been deposited in the custody of our affiliate Bank with the following Transfer Code .

      Do not forget to send your Transfer Code in your mail correspondence with the Bank so they can refer to your Winning Cheque file immediately.



      Your Winning prize will be remitted into your bank account within the next 3 working days in your bank account in your country.

      Please contact the Standard Inland Bank Plc via E-mail for transfer of your funds with their contact details below:



      Contact the bank and make a transfer schedule with them to enable them transfer your funds into your account without any delay. Please, always update me with your day to day activities with the Standard Inland Bank Plc.

      Mr. Carson Cole

      YAHOO/MSN ONLINE LOTTERY Fiduciary Agent.

      Head Winning Claims Dept.

      Tele phone No: +44-704-571-4756

    • profile image

      Tammy 7 years ago

      I received my check & letter while we were in San Antonio, TX. My first thought was - Great, now the internet mail scams have migrated to the mail. I looked up the company name from the check and called that company. They were aware that the bank account had been infiltrated and had an open investigation with the authorities. All she needed was a fax of the envelope to add to the investigation. She thanked me for calling, I faxed the envelope and shredded the entire thing. That was about 5 years ago when Chuck started this post.

      I'm in Georgia now and a couple of weeks ago I received a very professional looking fancy little letter stating - we've been trying to reach you about your lottery entry. I didn't pay it much mind and just put it in the shredder. Had I entered a lottery, they wouldn't be having a hard time "trying to reach" me in regards to my entry.

    • profile image

      LoL 7 years ago

      Well if you are dumb enough to fall for it then I guess you deserve it.

      Why does everyone keep asking, "What should I do?" Well common sense would tell me to take it to my bank and/or local law enforcement for investigation.

      Not trying to bash anyone but I mean come on use your heads!!

    • profile image

      James Joyce 7 years ago

      What a story!! Thanks for sharing.

      James Joyce

      Lottery Trend

    • profile image

      roy o. 7 years ago

      I got a letter from: the Anti-Terrorist and International Fraud Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, informing me that there is $800,000 deposited at Bank of America, for me. The "FBI" tells me that the transaction is safe and 100% risk free!The "FBI" is "authorizing" me to send Mr. Samuel Oliver a check for, $200.00. I get "scams" similar to this each week but this is the best one so far! It almost convinces me to send the $200.00. Please, beware.

      Oliver a $200.00 transaction fee

    • Kmadhav profile image

      Kmadhav 8 years ago from New delhi

      one thing sure that i will learn lots of thing about lottery and scams from your hub and discussion.........I will stay from these things .....

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      many Lottery scam send it through email. we must be aware and check more information by browsing.

    • profile image

      Kim 8 years ago

      I just received a check from A.M. Wholesale Fish Co., Inc. out of Dallas TX. THANK YOU for posting this. I would have been scammed. I only wish I knew who to notify.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Kp - thanks for the comment. This scam is continuing because it remains a great money maker for the scammers. So long as people keep falling for the scam, scammers will keep using it.

      Look at how long the Nigerian Bank account scam (the email from the sender who claims to have access to an abandoned bank account with millions of dollars which they cannot access without a foreign partner and if the recipient will just reply to the email with their bank account number the scammer will share the millions with him or her. This has been around so long that it is a joke but, despite all the publicity, people still fall for it which is why it continues.

    • profile image

      kp 8 years ago

      This scam appears to still be continuing. I received a check for $2,850 from Empire Financial, a division of Empire Wholesale Lumber Co. Thanks for your article pointing out this scam.

    • profile image

      mr.jaydude 8 years ago

      okay so im really confused today i received in the mail an evelop from canada first of all it has no return address wtfh is this? when i opened it up the letterhead says MAPLE diamond jackpot-lotto,pch,readers&golf digest,sweepstakes&internet casnios. has a pobox on it from ottawa,on when i looked up the area code doesn't even come up to that city also when i look up that zip dont come up as that either hmmmmm.anyway they say i won 28,000 they say i have to deposit the check they sent me for 950 into my account and call them in 48hrs they say the check is to pay for tax,processing,and registration fees associated with my says that fees must be paid through a certified accountant based in the us b4 they can release the remaining balance after i call i can have the check mailed anywhere i want.. hmmm again!!! but one other thing thats truly weird the check is totally different from what i saw on ur postings its got all the info on it. void after 90 days check date its drawn from a bank in ga. rbc centura morrow ga. but the truly messed up thing is that number they gave me to call is from canada not even the right places& the check header reads CLAYTON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS JONESBORO,GA-SAYS ITS A PAYROLL CHECK AS WELL UM WEIRD TRULY. when i called the number today to see wtfh this crap is the verifed my info and then put me on hold then ooooppps hung up on me as well!!!!! the check says its from the superintendent as well looked for that name on that school site nope nothing on the bottom of the letter it also says that its from north american promo program umm can some one tell me what to do lol. i called my bank today to see how i can tell if the funds r there they told me to call that bank in ga so lets hope for the best tommorrow. my question is if it were real why wouldn't they just send me the check after taxes they dont even want to 950???? weird

    • profile image

      ef 8 years ago

      With all the people talking about trusting your instincts. I highly doubt my instinct , you know things you are born with would be able to radar off something like this.

    • profile image

      Barb-Mascoutah, IL 8 years ago

      Received a check today in the amount of $3950 drawn FROM Harris Bank in Chicago, IL. The letter is from Worldwide Financial Clearing, Inc. and states I'm a winner of the October 8th, 2008 Sweepstakes Drawing. The letter states I have to call a certain number and ask for a certain representative, However, there is a security code attached to the check and the rep needs to be called before depositing the check so she can remove the security code and also activate the check. Letter states the International Lottery Commission has made a policy that every winning must be "insured" before delivery to avoid a lost or false claim. The $3950 will enable me to pay the applicable insurance fees. Odd the tax associated with the winning has been paid and they will be send a Tax clearance letter along with the other $120,000 I won. After reading all your blogs it appears this is a scam.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      countrywoman - thanks for your comment. I hope there is still time for Shirley to prevent the bank from processing that check but I fear it is too late to stop it entirely. Unfortunately, unlike some of the Internet scams which promise money, these lottery scams send you a real check and the natural instinct is to believe that you have really won a lottery. As a result many people run to the bank, cash the check, send the money to the scammers and then wait for the promised big check contianing the winnings to arrive. Instead, they get a notice from the bank informing them that they have to repay the proceeds of the check they cashed plus bad check fees. Or worse it is the police (usually FBI as bank fraud is a Federal crime) infroming them that they have broken the law which may have additional bad consequences along with also having to repay the check amount and fees.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      Chuck- Seems like your hub has really helped some one in real time to deal with the hassle of such scams. I get plenty of scam emails about someone in Nigeria and so on. Great hub and good explanation about the consequences. Good research my friend.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Shirley, my only suggestion is to contact your bank immediately to see what can be done.

    • profile image

      shirley 8 years ago

      I deposited the check, but now i want to stop everything . what do I do?

    • brad4l profile image

      brad4l 8 years ago from USA

      I got a similar check once and so I called up the bank that it was issued out of, so I could let them know someone was forging their checks. They seemed like they didn't even care and transferred me to someones voice mail.

    • profile image

      Garry Wilson 8 years ago

      I just received a check from Marriot Financial Firm in Washington D.C. and the check says I have to deposit the $3630.50 into my bank account right now! Boy am I excited I dont get a paycheck for another 2 weeks. Bank here I come!!

    • profile image

      davidchadfish 8 years ago

      Here it is..My wife was sure excited. I thought, this doesn't make check, sendmoney, (western union?) back to the lotto people, then get the big prize?.....Well this one is from CONTINENTAL FINANCIAL BUREAU. (with the period).  Yes the english is poor/weird as if translated poorly. The run on sentance has stopped, but the letter just reads weird.---I called them, they said to get to bank,western union the money, and call back for further instructions.Check this-The check is from CITIBANK and on the letter they use a logo obviously stolen from a real site that does lotto worldwide.

      My friend at work said "dont do it!!" as his daughter got rooked and needed an attourney to get the bank andcheck people or whoever off her back, she did it, cashed the check for appx 3000.00 then sent the 2900.00 western union left the 1100.00 in her bank, thought she was a "winner" then things got messy.

      Yes--there is no free lunch & you have better odds of finding a million dollars than winning a million--but I do buy a ticket here and there--for fun.

      Thesepeople need to be prosocuted just for the crime of leading people on and getting them all excited. That is really mean.  Oh, andhere is another funny-One letter I saw in my inquiry to thse is from Iwana Benz sothat name was funny and fake and states an intention. PEACE

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Leonard, just make sure that the check isn't stolen before you cash it.

    • profile image

      leonard vALDEZ 8 years ago


    • profile image

      Richard 8 years ago

      I have received a letter same as these above just recently and the name on the check was ALL MY SONS MOVING AND STORAGE from Dallas Tx. They sent me a check for 4,985.00 for processing and tax fees.I was told to call Joanne Thomas at1-514-746-3883.all you get is an answering machine saying to call back later.

    • profile image

      Stephanie 8 years ago

      I just received one of these checks yesterday. It sounded great until the part about paying the taxes. It also came in a blue/white cloud envelope. The label was crooked and upside down on the envelope. My hubby and I decided to check it out. I wanted to call "my agent" and confront him but hubby took the letter so I can't yet. What can we do with these? It would be nice to try to stop even some of this scam! It is scary how real it looks!

    • profile image

      Dank 9 years ago

      My SEVENTEEN year old fosterkid recv'd a fheck for 4995.00. Oh she was estatic. She had a trust fund nd I was under the impression that it ws a lump sum. I rad the letter and it gave this rundown on how she was to spend 105.00 send 4400.00 to someone or another and keep 300.00 and 5000.00 monthly would follow . The letter allude to be a job opportunity surveying customer service for Money gram. Where the check was real she thought that I was being a 'hater' when I said don't cash it. She is no longer in my home and I hope that she did not cash it. I don't recall the company but the bank was Commerce ans it looks exactly like the one posted at the beginning of this post. NOHING IS FREE!!!

    • profile image

      HILDA 9 years ago



    • RyanRE profile image

      RyanRE 9 years ago from Bellingham, WA

      Chuck ~ It is amazing how many people do fall for these scams.

    • profile image

      paul k 9 years ago

      I too received a check for 2'999.00 from Liberty bank out of Oregon and the check is real. But the spelling of readeers digest made me ? what was up so i googled and got this, thanks and it looks like they have moved on because there phone service is full and you can't tell them wear to go.

    • profile image

      Esther 9 years ago

      I just received a chek in the amount of $2,999.00 from Bank of Belton. We called the number and spoke to someone who we could not understand. This was from Reader's Digest and address Readeer's Digest. Wrong spelling of course. That was what really threw us. Your wording was almost identical, except a little more cleaned up. My husband has cancer and we have lots of bills. We thought this was too good to be true, which is exactly what it is. How sad, Our winnings were $300,000.00 USD. Oh well, I'm certainly glad I found your web site before doing something very foolish. Thanks for the Warning.

    • profile image

      6 pack abs 9 years ago

      Identity theft... schemes... I already received at least a dozen of e-mail stating that I had won the lottery in the UK and in the US... I must me a millionaire by now (me and the thousands that received these mails)! I learned that no one is giving you anything for free...

    • profile image

      Mike Geary 9 years ago

      Thanks for the warning!

    • JazLive profile image

      JazLive 9 years ago from Decatur

      I received a check from StayWell, a real company in the USA that manages health benefits for several corporations (Caterpiller, Home Depot, Quaker Food & Beverage, ...). The check was attached to a "British Random Lotto" Winning Certificate. I called the number on the letter, the lady asked me to call back. I then did a search in "BigDaddy" and found the link to StayWell. I called the company and told them about their company checks being used in a British Lotto Scam and that I reported it to the Feds; local law authority and the contents are filed for future reference.

      This was the third and final time receiving checks in the mail. The first time was in 2005 - using LG; 2nd & 3rd time in 2006. I started an on-line business in 2005; I thank Jesus, I use a POB in lieu of my home address and a cell phone in lieu of my home tele.

    • Ms Chievous profile image

      Tina 9 years ago from Wv

      I received a letter from Africa once stating I won 70,000. :)

    • profile image

      I Need Money Fast 9 years ago

      awesome!! and great hub to....maybe i can win a lottery like you...LOL


    • Lifebydesign profile image

      Lifebydesign 9 years ago from Australia

      Fascinating! And a really great hub on this topic!

    • profile image

      refinance mortgage florida 9 years ago

      Wow, You did a great job!

    • profile image

      Paul Smouse 9 years ago

      This currently going around as First Group Operating Company LLC based in Lafayette LA, Utilizing checks copied from Redstone Federal Credit Union in Huntsville Alabama, which is a legit well respected company. The First Group ... does relate to many companies, mostly in transportation related industries in the UK. Other than some different wording it is a carbon copy of the above - quite possibly the same bunch of thugs.

    • profile image

      jose 9 years ago

      they still my money idont wnow the police dont stop this guy.

    • christineross97 profile image

      christineross97 9 years ago

      You did a great job! Five stars to you. You have excellently put together all valuable information and ideas on the probability of winning a lottery. I hope I can win! I have been looking for a lens that will explain to me the probable cause of it since my dad always bet on lottery. Let me share to you a similar valuable lens  A lens about number of auto software reviews found in one lens. I found it very helpful. Find out more!

    • profile image

      Medical Alert Calling Systems 9 years ago

      Huge fishing schemes are all over... Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • asci profile image

      asci 9 years ago from UK

      I was looking at a new car on the UK autotrader that was in Spain, this was too cheap to be true but when I contacted them they answered the phone and even gave me a website address to look at for the British Shipping Commerce Chambers. So it all looked really good, I asked if I could come over to Spain to see the vehicle but I couldn't because it was locked away ready for shipping?!?! They nearly convinced me and told me to put transfer the money to the escrow account owned by the shipping company, it was all getting toooo dodgy for me so I went to an independent website to get a phone number for the shipping compnay and they didn't exist and told me they had been informed there website had been copied! It just amazes me the front of some of these guys and the lengths they'll go to but you can probably be sure they took thousands off other people!

    • profile image

      Curtiesha Lymuel 9 years ago

      I'am also got scamed this company COMTEC FINANCIAL TRUST SERVICES mail me a letter that had no forwarding address just my name on the letter I opened the letter and it said that I was a winner for the state lotty and reader's digest , Publisher's Clearing House so I called the number that was given to call the agent that was handling my case Marcus Byron 1-519-991-0538 and that answering machince gave me another number to call 1-514-569-8903 tha man answerd the phone like he was at home no grettig he said that I had ten minutes to deposted tha money and to call him back and let him know my account number so I played a little trick I played like I was at at the bank I was like the bank will not take the check becausre that company does not exited so the man like try It again and tell them that this Ia a buissness trasaction and not to show them the paper that we sent to you along with the letter so I was like ok so I wait a minute and called back no answer called back again no answer so Iwas like I'm try It again he answer and said give up already give up I think It 's a shame that the people would do that to people that really think that they won something they should pay back all the money for pain and suffering that they induer I really want ot find this guy and ripe him apart give him what 's on my mind

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Nikgaffron, Tim - thanks to both of you for your comments. I just want to remind everyone that the checks involved in these scams are real and can be cashed at a bank. HOWEVER these are STOLEN checks so they WILL BE RETURNED and BAD CHECK CHARGES WILL BE ASSESED BY THE BANK AGAINST YOUR ACCOUNT. Also it is a CRIME to KNOWINGLY deposit a stolen check so you can get in trouble if you try to cash these checks - see some of the comments above from people who have had problems when they deposited these cheks.

      Thanks again for your comments.

    • profile image

      Tim 9 years ago

      I've received a similar letter today (march 20, 2008) From Toyota Financial Services saying I've won from their sweepstakes. I ran the phone number it gives me to contact my "north american agent" and the number is from Canada, maybe my agent decided to move? The only thing that baffles me is that the check is from Toyota disbursed by the UBOC located in CA, as well as the Toyota financial services located in Torrance, CA. another thing is they seem to be pretty mellow with how fast I reply. It was issued on 10th of march, 2008 and I have until april 11th,2008 to claim it, they're giving me plenty of time. by reading all these Comments it seems these scammers like to keep their target companies with Lottery and gaming commissions. I've sent an email to the Toyota Financial Services asking them about this inquery. I will update you on what happens, I'm not holding my breath. I thought I'd put the toyota Financial Service name out their for anyone that might have gotten a similar letter and are looking for hope as I once was till I stumbled apon this blog, thank you.

    • profile image

      Nikgaffron 9 years ago

      nsw international lotteries

      52850 w/ 2850check from nationwide insurance basically the same letter no time restraints ans the grammar wasn't bad except a sentance that started with ".But..."

      this is a 100% real check not gonna cash it but its very official signed by Carol L Dove my claims agent is Dennis Nguyen i wish there was a way to cash this bad boy without paying anything back...

    • Life's Good profile image

      Life's Good 9 years ago from Australia

      Great job on exposing this scam. I get emails every day from ?? saying I have won US$5,000,000 or Pounds Sterling $$$$. The sender's name gives it away, it has some stupid name like UK Lottery Notification Winners and the `Officer' who you must give your bank details and personal information, to `claim' your prize is haha! especially when I am not even living in the UK.

      Anyone with some common sense should be able to see through them.

      A few years ago, I was genuinely tricked by an email saying I had won 1st prize in a Poetry contest. I had submitted my poem and this email said I had won US$20,000 and I had to come to the event to collect my prize! I contacted my best friend and asked him whether he would like to come with me. He told me it was a scam. I was so disappointed. I thought I was going to be some famous poet! Oh well, back to the 9-5 job...

      Work hard, be honest, be kind, loving to enjoy good friends and a good life, is the best policy. These scammers should try it!

    • profile image

      Marc 9 years ago

      It would seem like a Godsend to win the lottery, but big money brings big problems. Thanks for exposing this one.

    • archturn profile image

      archturn 9 years ago

      How we love to believe the improbable. We are so self deceiving. A wise man said "yes someone will win the lottery, it just won't be you."

    • Fran Horvath profile image

      Fran Horvath 9 years ago from Universal

      I know someone in Ohio who got a check from a scam similar to this one. Not sure if it was the same company - but it was the same MO. My friend actually deposited the check and then when the bank found out it was a scam - treated my friend like he was a criminal too. They thought he was in on the scam and froze his account for a few weeks.

      I am all about believing in miracles but our instincts tell us the difference between truth and falsehood if we pay attention!

      Great article.

    • profile image

      Ernesto A. Gonzalez 9 years ago

      I'm selling my 1986 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am runs good, and received to checks Keystone Financial for $6,500.00 and another from Citizens Bank for $4,850.00 both I assume fruad.

      Keystone I know is fruad. the other I take it as fruad. (Who in there right mind would truest someone like this.)

    • profile image

      Beth  9 years ago

      Back in april of 2007 I received a check saying that I had won the lottery and they sent me a check for 2962, stating that after the check cleared to call them and they would send details on how I could get the 50,000 the company on the check said cantech but I eventually foubd out that wasn't true. It was from the Tower Processing Center in St thomas virgin Islands. I didn't know that it was a fraud as I have entered different sweepstakes on the internet and now Im being taken to court for this. Please if you have any suggestions on what I can do please let me know as I have called the FTC and the FBI on this

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Penny, Rick - Thanks for visiting my Hub and for your comments.

      Rick, you are not only correct but I also believe it is illegal to knowingly deposit a bad check and, even if you deposit one in good faith, once the bank notifies you that the check has been returned you are obligated to return the funds. Also, since most banks are insured by an agency of the Federal Government (the FDIC) it is the FBI that you will have to deal with rather than the local police.

      Thanks again to both of you and, Penny, I'm glad you were just kidding with your comment.

    • profile image

      penny marshal 9 years ago

      i know, i was just kidding by the way :)

    • profile image

      Rick Merlin 9 years ago

      i don't think that is such a good idea, Penny. You'll have collections calling you alot.

    • profile image

      penny marshal 9 years ago

      just open up a new bank account at a new bank, deposit the check, wait for it to clear, then withdraw the $2950. after that just close the account. big deal. a good way to screw up your credit, but also a better way then robbing a bank :)

      assuming one is in desparate need of cash.

    • profile image

      Diane Corriette 9 years ago

      Its amazing what people will do to get your money! Informative hub and at least I know what to do if I ever receive on of those

    • profile image

      Anthony Coleman 9 years ago

      I just received a letter with a check for $3,987.85. At first look I though I hit the Jackpot. Then after reading the letter I decided to check up on it and came across your Blog. I am glad I did. Thanks for the info. It didn't make sense to me either.

    • profile image

      John 9 years ago

      I just received a letter with a check that was close to 4,000$. I called the number of the person that was my agent, and asked her some questions too. She would put me on hold and that is a big red flag to me. My fiancé and her mother told me too look in to it more and I am glad that i did it. The check is from JET Inc. and the lady told me too call her back in two days. I am not going to do what she wants me to, and I will leet the company know what is going on.

    • The Phantom Blot profile image

      The Phantom Blot 9 years ago

      Excellent hub, and good information. I used to be a bank supervisor, and you got it right. I love the ads too!

    • observer502 profile image

      observer502 9 years ago

      Hi Chuck. Your article has been so "relieving" because I have received probably 150 emails informing me that I won the lottery for 5 million dollars or 3 million pounds, or somebody from Africa supposedly died and left a huge fortune and I will act as a surviving relative to become an instant heir to millions. I have to admit, I called up ONE phone number, but luckily no one was on the other end to pick up the phone. I always wondered what the scam was all about. There was a time when I asked myself if I have been refusing to become rich by my being too careful. But as you said, TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE is TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Now, I am glad I trusted my instincts.

      But I am worried about the others. I hope more people read your hub and get warned. More power, Chuck!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I got something about a year ago as an email saying that I'd been successful in winning an online Lottery promotion and had won first prize of 795,000 + pounds sterling. then came the qualifiers which they wanted my identity and a processing fee. I kept sending them emails just to send a check. Eventually I got a check for two dollars which i never bothered with & deleted all their existing reminders...

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      Lisa 9 years ago

      My husband just received his Maple Diamond Jackpot letter;we figured it was a scam and decided to check the interent.It sure would have been nice to have that money right now with Christmas around the corner.Thanks for the info.

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      Rob 9 years ago

      Add me to list list of lucky winners. I wanted everyone to know my award notification certificate letterhead was from" Maple Diamond Jackpot". It was from the Directoor of Promotion Dept. in Toronto, ON and had Canadian postage and no return address on the envelope. The prize was $48,000.00 US and the check in the envelope was for $2,500.00 US. The check was drawn from National City Bank and looked very official! Otherwise the scam worked the same way as previously reported.

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      Craig in Ohio 9 years ago

      Add me to the list of receivers: Letterhead reads "Payment & Trust Services" in Nassau, Bahamas. Same MO and letter content as others. Check issues from "National Oilwell Varco" Houston, Texas, with a check address of 135 Hospital Drive, Van Wert OH. Check amount $1870.00 which is cashable by me, but I am to call to make an initial payment to be sent in to them, and remaining $25,000 of the total $26,870 was mine once they received initial $1870.00 from me.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 9 years ago

      Hi Chuck!! Thanks again for the GREAT Hub and the quick response!! I DID forward your wonderful information to many of my friends who might be lured into such a scam!! Thank you again for sharing such WONDERFUL information!! Blessings, Earth Angel!!

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Earth Angel, thanks for visiting my Hub and for your comment.

      I, too, have a background in econmics and teach it part time and as to your comment about the increase in Thanksgiving retail sales there are some other possible explanations besides the lottery scam checks behind this. Without digging deeply into the numbers, another explanation could be that more people decided to take advantage of the sales that were being offered and spent their Christmas shopping money sooner rather than over the next few weeks. The 8.3% increase over last year refers to Thanksgiving weekend sales only and not overall holiday spending. Given the sales hype and the deep discounting that most stores offered many may have approached this as a way to save money overall rather than a big splurg. The predictions that I have seen are that retail sales for the whole holiday season will only be about 1% over last year and retail profits, while expected to be positive, are not expected to set any records. Again, the huge discounting by sellers in making their margins thinner while giving the consumer a good financial break.

      Also, at this point in time the falling home prices and rising mortgage payments are just starting to affect consumers. At this point it is more a problem for lenders who are attempting to write down the value of their mortgages and take the accounting loss now rather than in the future. In other words, they have not really lost money yet and but are merely setting funds aside for the day when they will encounter these expected losses. Further, falling home prices are not a real problem for homeowners unless they have to sell. A person not planning to move for some years will not be affected by a decline in value (and actually might benefit as their realestate taxes, which are based upon the home's value, could decrease. For many of these people the only affect will be that they will have less money left over when they sell their home and pay off the mortgage. However, those who have purchased a home, with a low down payment within the past few years and have to sell soon (and one reason for being forced to sell could be that their payments on their adjustable mortgage are rising to an amount they can no longer afford to pay, will have a problem as their homes will probably sell for less than what they owe. While this could have negative impact on the economy in the near future, it is just starting now and I don't think that enough individuals have been impacted as yet to prevent something like the jump in Thanksgiving weekend sales.

      This is my take on the sales jump. Thanks again for visiting and commenting on my Hub and definitely warn others about this scam as that is hurting many people as it continues to con them.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 9 years ago

      WOW!! Chuck what a GREAT Hub!! And what a GREAT service to all who received and were tempted by seemingly official winnings!! Thank you!!

      This Scam is running rampant!! I "connect the dots" a bit differently than most!! The following might be related!!??

      Last week the news media reported retail sales for the weekend of Thanksgiving (going into the Holidays) up over 8.3% from last year!! I have a background in economics and 8.3% would be nearly impossible!! Especially in a year where housing prices are falling and mortgage rates are climbing!!

      On the news and Internet again are story after story of people in the U.S. buying TONS of stuff for the Holidays!!?? I was in Las Vegas at a Family Reunion (none of us gamble but like the shows) over the weekend and I have NEVER seen soooooooooooooooo many people throwing their money away!!

      Could it be that sooooooooooooooo many people have fallen for this scam?? I pray not!! Even if people suspected a scam, but cashed the checks anyway thinking they wouldn't be responsible for repayment later, it could collapse the U.S. economy in less than 60 days!!??

      Any thoughts??

      Again, GREAT Hub Chuck!! Thank you soooooooooooooo much!! I have a few elderly friends I need to warn right away!!

      Blessings, Earth Angel!!

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      HLMELTON 9 years ago

      well chuck dont even try to put that crap in your bank account. i came home one day to find on my doorstep an overnight envelope addressed to me that had nothing in it but three money grams for 810 each well i hung on to them until the nigerian that sent them to me contacted me by email asking if i got them i told him yeah and i immediately turned them over to the fbi, what an idiot this guy was. they were not legit anyway. i have them on my scam trophy wall or i can always start fires with em.they contact me all the time with diff job offers and crap i just delete em.

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      denise 9 years ago

      Boy I got lucky I received one of these checks and it just seemed too good to be true so I shred it.

      I just knew it was too good to be true.

      After stumbling into this site, I was happy with my decision. i feel sorry for those that fall to this kind of traps. Unfortunately, there are many.

    • jeanjw profile image

      jeanjw 9 years ago

      funny but true stuff

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      michelle francis 9 years ago

      First off, really glad to have found this site, thank you so much for the great info..... back to the last comment, I too received a check for 3,872.99 from mci finanicial ,contact person the same monica thompson but when I called the # a male answered the phone and said she was at a meeting. I held onto the check for a couple of more days, went to see afriend of mine ,who happens to be a branch manager. After much discussion, we contacted someone from lost prevention, we followed their instructions, first, contact bank of america, the routing #'s and the account # were legit from a global acount of bank of america.We put the check in the account with a 25 day hold, they assured me if it came back bad I would face no fee's or criminial charges, and yes you can be charged with fraud if you knowingly put a bad or fraudulagent check in the bank. So everyone please beware these a-- holes are out to hurt antbody they can. But also remember they will get their's 10 fold in the end... God Speed

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      MCJ 9 years ago

      November 13, 2007

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      I just received a letter too, here in Youngtown, AZ. Same story, however, mine came with an official letterhead from MCI Financial and a Check for $3872.99. The letter has 2 addresses one listed as: 235 3545-35 Avenue N.E. Suite 409, Calgary Alberta T1Y6M6: Telephone 705-770-5904. The other is: A Division of MCI 22001 Loudoun County Parkway, Ashburn, VA 20147.

      In the letter it tells me to contact a Monica Thompson at the above phone number she is supposed to be the agent. I am also to claim the winnings no later than November 22, 2007. It gives a claim number, and yes as some of you mentioned, the sentence structure is very poor in some parts of the letter.

      Having difficult times, I too was really hoping that this was a dream come true, however, it was only a dream, and now I have to slap myself back into reality.

      This is not fair! Especially, when you are handicaped, having financial problems, and just lost your job due to illness, it is just not fair!

      I am so glad I found this site. I too will be taking the information to my bank as a warning. I am also sending a letter to both addresses and giving them a piece of my mind.

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 9 years ago from DC Area

      Being a curious person, I always wandered how that stuff works. And being a lazy person, I always failed to research :) Thanks Chuck!

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      Paul H, North Dakota 9 years ago

      Oh yes, I received one of those letters too. A cashiers check was in the envelope for 1995.00 made out to my wife who died 4/2001. The check was drawn on the Woodforest National Bank, The Woodlands, TX. The company awarding the 'so called' prize was Bingo Lottery Company, Calgary, Alberta. I was supposed to call the claim agent, Mrs Jennifer Bowen and confirm the transaction. The total was for $47,000.00 and had to be done before 11/15/1007. The letter was signed by Regina Moore.

      I have gotten tons of e-mail to this respect, but this is the first letter I have gotten in the regular mail.

      I don't know how these these scammers can sleep at night.

      Paul H

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      MARISA CAMACHO 9 years ago





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      heather howk 9 years ago


      I am going through a divorce and I have 4 small children. I opened a letter from Leg Avenue Finalncial Group with the number 705-789-8272 and called it. Ms. Yolanda Danko told me to cash the check $3342.27 and send in $3000.00 and I could keep the other $342.27 until I received part of $48,650.00. She told me that there was 12 of us that won this money and I am one of the last 4 to call her. She said to cash the check get a money order and call her back and she will tell me where to mail it and what I need so I can get my share. My claim # is US/CA/ME-0725NA and all participants were selected through a computerized ballot system drawn from Readers Digest, Publishers Clearning house, Online Sweepstakes, Internet Games, ETC.

      The check Came from Cathay Bank in Monterey Park Ca. with Leg Avenue, Inc. on it.

      After reading this site there is no way in heck I am going to fall for this scam, I know we need the money bad but I am not going to make our money issues any worse.


    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Jaime, Thanks for visiting my Hub and leaving your comment. You were very lucky that the bank put a hold on the check otherwise you would now owe the bank $4,700 for the bad check.

      My credit union has a notice posted at each teller window warning people not to deposit checks from people they do not know. Also, there are an increasing number of articles, web postings and TV spots warning people about this. A few months ago I came home from work noticed that the guest who had just been introduced on the Oprah Winfrey program that my wife was watching was discussing scams and how to avoid them. I was quite flattered when he described the same types of scams and gave the same explanations and advice that I gave in this hub and my related hub on scams that recruit people for work at home jobs ( ) that are nothing more than disguised money laundering for criminals operating from third world nations. I knew that this fellow hadn't copied me but was flattered by the fact that I had been able to research and present the same level of analysis as this investigative professional who was on Oprah Winfrey's program.

      The sad thing is that, despite the increasing number of warnings and information being broadcast about these scams, thousands are still being duped by these crooks every day.

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      JAIME E. MARTINEZ 9 years ago

      I too received a check in the amount of 4,700 USD, this check was very real the sender was CRACKER BARREL COUNTRY STORES and the bank they were using was WACHOVIA bank, the sponsers where; Readers Digest,Publishers clearing house and online games, in the letter it stated that i had just won 50,000 USD and that this check was to be deposited and that when I did this to call my agent which by the way was named MRS. ROSANNE CASH, which I did after depositing the check, at first there was no answer but after a couple of tries MRS. ROSSANE CASH answered and assured me that it was not a gimmick and that as soon as I my check cleared i needed to withdraw all of it and she instructed me on who to pay, 2500 USD was to be sent to Mellissa Anacosta at 141 Liberty Street Winesor Ontario Canada by money gram, 2050 USD was to be sent to Lydia Ramos at 115 Green Street London Ontario Canada through western union, when I asked her what the remainder was for she said it was to cover the cost of sending the money. I almost sent the money but things didn't feel right so i went to check my account and noticed that i went negative 4700 when i asked my bank teller she told me that the main office had put a hold on the check, thanks to my bank i didn't get duped, I tried calling Mrs. Cash but to my surprise no answer, I guess I should have expected this. I guess I won't be getting my 50k now:-)

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      Lorilee 9 years ago

      Oh WOW !! I too opened my mail box today to find a check for $4,400.00 and also to cash it by the 22nd. I have seen the commercials on TV lately about these checks and knew it was fake. But I cant say that the temptation is not there. Im a single mother of 3 boys and currently get NO childsupport. That money would really help out..

      I just wanted to post this because I seem to have a new company that I have not seen mentioned above. This one is called MAPLE DIAMOND JACKPOT. It too is listed as publishers clearing house, readers and golf digest. The letter is pretty much the same as everyone else. I also have to cash it to pay fee's and so on. I noticed the check does have water marks and I did check the internet... The bank is PARKVALE BANK Located in Brownsville and can be found on the internet. Its a real bank. However Maple Diamond is not found. I typed the phone number into a reverse look up and found it to be a land line but the name is unlisted (the number is in Quibek (sorry cant spell it) but the maple diamond lists its address as Ottawa, ON at the top of my letter and even encludes some small print at the bottom that says its null and void if you are under 18 and to get help if you or someone you know is a potential addict to gambling.. So... They are getting smarter and I also noticed NO spelling errors or bad grammer. I do plan to take it to my bank and let them see it. I hope it will help them keep others in my area from being affected by these jerks.

      I do wish all of you that cashed these checks good luck. Im sorry to hear about the problems it has caused but am very thankful for websites like this who can stop victims before they make a HUGE mistake.

      Take care and God Bless

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Terry - sorry to hear about your prediciment. Everything I have relating to the check and letter I received is posted above.

      What I don't understand is why the arrest warrant? If you depositied the check in good faith AND responded the the bank's letter by making arrangements with the bank to repay the money I don't know why there would be an arrest warrant. Now, if you failed to respond to the letter or have indicated that you are not going to return the funds then you are probably guilty of being party to a fraud and this is a crime. True, you are the victim of the scammers, but when you opened your bank account you had to sign a card or document listing the account rules, among which was an agreement to repay the bank for any returned checks that you deposited.

      If you read the comments above, you are not the only one to have deposited the check and spent the money. Unfortunately, this has happened to a few people who have posted comments here and probably to many people who have either not commented or haven't visited this site. I say this because, if no one cashed these checks the scam would stop immediately. But, too many people are taken in by the scam and this makes it profitable for the scammers and so long as they are making money the scam will continue.

      Back to your situation. As I stated in my comment to JW (about 79 comments above my comment here) banks are insured by an agency of the Federal Government, the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp) so if you don't return the money the FDIC will have to replace the money which means that rather than the bank losing the money it is the Federal Government which makes not repaying the money a Federal crime with the FBI involved.

      Banks used to put a hold on funds deposited by check. Some banks held the funds until they received confirmation that the check was good, others held local checks for a week or more and out of town checks for much longer periods. People complained about not having access to their funds, so the Federal Government (I believe it was the Federal Reserve but may have been another agency) issued a ruling severely restricting bank's ability to withhold funds for more than a few days. This is the loophole that the scammers have found and are using to their advantage.

      I hope you are able to work this out with your bank or law enforcement without further trouble. Good luck.


    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Terry - sorry to hear about your prediciment. Everything I have relating to the check and letter I received is posted above.

      What I don't understand is why the arrest warrant? If you depositied the check in good faith AND responded the the bank's letter by making arrangements with the bank to repay the money I don't know why there would be an arrest warrant. Now, if you failed to respond to the letter or have indicated that you are not going to return the funds then you are probably guilty of being party to a fraud and this is a crime. True, you are the victim of the scammers, but when you opened your bank account you had to sign a card or document listing the account rules, among which was an agreement to repay the bank for any returned checks that you deposited.

      Banks used to put a hold on funds deposited by check. Some banks held the funds until they received confirmation that the check was good, others held local checks for a week or more and out of town checks for much longer periods. People complained about not having access to their funds, so the Federal Government (I believe it was the Federal Reserve but may have been another agency) issued a ruling severely restricting bank's ability to withhold funds for more than a few days. This is the loophole that the scammers have found and are using to their advantage.

      I hope you are able to work this out with you bank without further trouble. Good luck.


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      Robin H 9 years ago

      I received a letter today from BTV FINANCIAL TRUST COMPANY, Fiduciary of BTV Properties, Inc., Dallas, Texas, along with a check in the amount of $3,326.27. The check is written on a bank check from Northern Trust Bank of Texas, N.A. and the name on the account is "BTV No. 3 Homeowners Association."

      The letter basically states that you've won $58,750.00 and that "all participants were selected through a computerized ballot system drawn from Readers Digest, Publishers Clearing House, etc." Of course, the enclosed $3,326.27 check is to be used to "assist you in financing your international clearance fee." Then it proceeds to tell me who to call, etc.

      I decided to "Google" all of the company names involved and could not find anything in any of those names. Then I decided to "Google" the phone numbers at the bottom of the letter. When I put in the FAX number, I came up with all sorts of links, which took me to this site. Apparently they use the same FAX number for all of these scams. 705-789-8272.

      Anyway, I intend to turn it over to the local FBI and to file a complaint with USPS.

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      terry seifert 9 years ago

      I received a check for 4,970 dollars from Ecasino universal gaming back in march of this year. I cashed the check and spent the money on bills. when the check cleared, i thought beyond a doubt that i had won 68,000 dollars. a week or two later the bank had contacted me informing me that the check was no good..To make a long story short, I know have an arrest warrant for my arrest. my e-mail address is plz send me any and all info if u received any thing simmilar......thanks 4 your time.......

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      Stephen 9 years ago

      I received a check today from Bingo Lottery Company out of Calgary Alberta that sent me a check in the amount of $4,995.00 asking me to deposit and send $2,985.00 in order to receive a $47,000.00 payout....My "claim agent" was Mr. Richard Owen, who, when I called, sounded like he was straight out of Nigeria. He encouraged me to hurry up and not delay...Needless to say I told him I was in no big hurry...Its definitely a scam! I think I will call him and play with his mind a little bit....Why not, he ruined my day, I might as well ruin his ;-)

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      dduct 9 years ago

      Checked my PO Box today and received a letter with a return address on the envelope of PO BOX 23004, 7560 FRESH CREEK, ANDROS ISLAND, BAHAMAS.

      The letterhead read (In all capital letters) EURO-FORTUNE FINANCE.

      (How in the heck did they get my PO? Anyway, I did not like the smell of it, seeing the heading of the letter underlined RE-FINAL AWARD WINNING NOTIFICATION

      Stating, I emerged as a winner in the month of August 2007, the letter dated September 17th,2007.

      Of coarse the body is pretty much the same, I won $50,000.00 ater paying the tax and administrative fees. An please call my claim agent, Richard Young (in bold) at the Euro Fortune Finance, an accredited agent of Euro-Million Lotteris at 1-902-412-2977. Of coarse a search of the area code and prefix revieled it was a number in

      The City of Halifax (1841-1996) was the capital of the province of Nova Scotia, and the largest city in Atlantic Canada.[1] Halifax was also the shire town of Halifax County.

      Very curious.

      Anyway I called my "claim agent" with a VERY heavy, and hard to understand accent. Who answered with a "Hello" and not a professional business greeting, and informed me to cash check and send the cash via Money Grahm to my Tax Agent Susan Miller, 1177 4th St, Victoria BC, Canida, zip code 2H23L1, by the dedline Monday.

      Keep in mind I just got this today Saturday, October 13, 2007 at 3:00PM. Another little smelly tidbit, the letter dated September 17th, 2007, stated the deadline to claim your winnings is 8th October 2007. Yours Trully, Barbara Robins Director of Claims.

      The water-mark plus the fingerprin watermark on th back was a nice touch.

      With two companies listed on the check (I'm still confused about that) FOX-PITT, KELTON INC.(Upper Left) 420 FITH AVENUE, FLOOR 5, NEW YORK, NY 10018 519-992-1640 (When I called that number, it was not a business recording or live person, rather a message stating the person, I was trying to reach, was not available, another HHMMM). JPMORGANCHASE BANK, N.A. (Upper right) NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10017 WWW.CHASE.COM (See no address and the zip?)

      And the two signatures are nowhere named on the letter.

      HHHMMMMM. I can't wait to take this to the bank Monday, I hope these people get caught.

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      DMartel 9 years ago

      I still have one of those bogus checks sitting somewhere in a drawer around here. I like you was suspicious of the weird grammar and spelling as well as the other oddball things I found in there.

      It's scary - unfortunately there are those out there who are deperate enough to fall for this type of scam.

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      Vetty C 9 years ago

      In my mail today is a similar letter with a heading of Scotia Financial Services, Inc. in Canada dated 9/28/07 with reference #00163/TR/2551/07 telling me that the North America Holiday Travel Reward Promotions/Lottery Program was held on 9/27/07 and that my name attached to ticket #225-1198652357-453 drew the lucky numbers. I will receive a lump sum of $28,500 and a check was enclosed (Wachovia Bank - Raymond James, 880 Carillon Parkway, St. Petersburg, FL 33716) for $2,953.32 to help pay the service charge and the international clearance fees. They mention that my number was selected by computer ballot drawn from Readers' Digest, Publishers' Clearing House database. I was given the name of Abraham Goodwill (honest Abe?) and the phone #1-902-412-1380 with a deadline of October 17 to call. I apparently also wond a 6 day and 5 night cruise on The Intrepid Ocean Liner to the Caribbean. There are no grammatical or spelling errors on the letter and it has three colors. The check looks valid. Very professional look to it but I have not called and probably will not although I may try to find the company in Florida that the bank account draws on... will see... Vetty

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      Paul vB 9 years ago

      I got home and found the wife jumping into the air of happiness. She told me the "good news". I looked at the letter from Denmor Sweepstakes. It is identical what Mike C. and LILLAY are wring above. First of all the return address is a PO Box and it has no real Co. name just STN/SUCC A (must stand for "sucker" in slang). The check looked good just looking at, but the "DENMOR SERVICES" were a bit off from the uniform printing. On the bottom of the check you can feel of the perforation as it has been torn off from a stub. Thus, what LILLAY writes must be correct that the cheeks are stolen. But the letter is the real easy one to see the swindle. The time limit is the first one and when you read that you the amount here ($2,650.00) is to "help you facilitate the payment of accounting and clearance fees regulating your price"! By now, you should be certain that it is a scam since if you really would get something (most of us never did and never will), then you would have a check of the full amount and that is it!

      There is sophistication however in this scam and the Canadian address protecting them from the US law enforcement.

      Thus, the wife is back to her "normal mood", the life goes on – as usual!

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      Robin R 9 years ago

      Thank you for your posting of this scam. Everything I received today looks so real. I received a letter from Euro Fortune Financeand a check from Essential Productions, LLC. Letter stated I am a winner for the month of August and selected through computerf ballot system from readers digest, publishers claring house, etc. The "assistance" check is for $2,940.30. I am supposed to call James Duncan at Euro Fortune Finance and "accredited agent of Euro - Million Lotteries. The number is Canadian. This one is going in the shredder!

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      Shelly S 9 years ago

      Here is a new scam. It is a letter from the Food Network Sweepstakes. It says that the sponsors are Walmart, Coca-Cola, Macy's, Safeway and McDonalds. The chech was mailed from Canada but it is a bank in Dallas, TX. I wonder what I should do with this. It says I won $68,000. The check is in the amount of $2,650. I did some research and found your website. I will try contacting the bank tomorrow to find out about this scam. Thanks for posting comments.

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      L Johnson 9 years ago

      I received a letter from DENMOR SWEEPSTAKES also. My contact number was 1 647 839 6329. My agents name was bryan williams. He stated that when I deposit my check, to call him back when it clears and he would give me the name of the sponsor that put my name in the drawing. And hoped that I would continue to do business with them. When I asked who the sponsor was, he said that he couldn't tell me until I called him back to tell him the check had cleared. Then he would give me the name of the tax adviser that would be doing my taxes for the winnings.

      I was scammed about 15 years ago. There was an add in my local newspaper that read Get a loan now. Good credit, bad credit, no credit. All you had to do was fax your drivers license, ss number, either phone bill or electric bill for verification of address. I was a single mother with 2 small children. Then once approved, I had to fed ex $199. Well, I did. Once I called the lady back to see if she received her money, I talked to her once and then I kept getting her voice mail. Then, finally the phone number was not a working number. Then I knew that it was a scam.

      I told myself from then on, I would do my own investigation. If it involves sending in money or even if you receive a check, IT IS A SCAM!!!

      As I am writing this, I called the number from above and left Bryan Williams a message. More than likely when he hears the message, he will probably disconnect that number.


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      Mike C 9 years ago

      My wife just received the notification from The Denmore Sweepstakes.

      Publishers Clearing house,Readers digeest and internet casino.

      She was supposed to call the 647-839-6329 number and of course deposit the money and send them money for a lottery of 68000,

      I work in Law enforcement and immediately took the check down to our bank and gave it to them,also drawn on Texas first bank,

      What made this seem almost viable was they are getting smarter and placing sponser companies on the bottom of the page in this case they used Walmart Coca cola Macy's safeway and Mcdonalds.

      She is always looking for extra money for school but I am glad she asked first

      thank you for your website to assist everyone.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Lillay, Thank you for visiting my Hub and for your comment. I actually had about 2 weeks to cash mine as well. As you can see from above the letter I received was dated January 3, 2007 and the check January 4, 2007 meaning it was probably sent sometime that week or early the following week. The deadline for cashing the check was Friday January 19th which should have given the first recipients full two weeks. I received my letter either toward the end of the second week of January or beginning of the third week (during which Friday Jan 19th fell). While I did not have a full two weeks, I think I did have over a week to cash it and I suspect that I didn't have a full two weeks was due to the fact that the letters were probably maild in different batches from different mailboxes. They may also have been mailed in small batches from different cities. You see, it is a Federal crime for any person or organization, except for state lottery organizations, to use the U.S. Mail to deliver lottery solicitations. By mailing these in small batches the scammers were probably trying to avoid detection by Postal Inspectors (which is also why they were sent in plain envelopes with no indication they contained lottery materials). Chuck

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      LILLAY  9 years ago

      Theres is a new scam now. The New name is: Denmor Sweepstakes and under in fine print...PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE, READERS DIGEST AND INTERNET CASINO.

      Same type of letter,phone number 1 647 839-6329 this time they are using Texas First Bank , the amount of the check was for $2650.00. This one acutally gives you a full 2 weeks to deposit. The company name in the check is DENMOR SERVICES III,INC. (GALV) P.O.BOX 5575 SAN LEON , TX 77539. PLEASE DO NOT DEPOSIT , THESE ARE STOLEN CHECKS.

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      basil 9 years ago

      i just recived same letter from some gofy people want me to claime $25000.00after i send them $ 1600 cash on westren union.i knew that means gettheir manny and no what i will act like dummy i will keep call them and on the end i will spit on them and tell them you are loosers..

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      Teresa 9 years ago

      Yes Johnnyboy44 my check is also from The Island Showroom Inc., DBA Home & Stone located in Coney Island Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11230. I actually researched this place and it is a plumbing company. So that is why I also noticed that something was not right, if I supposedly won a random drawing why would the check come from a plumbing company? Also the letter is from Cosmo Financial located in 5321 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 11324 I also researched this location and it is a false location. Nothing came up under that address. The agent I had to call was a Linda Coleman 705-770-0779 I looked up this number and it came up with a location in Barrie ON, which is also from Canada. To the phone number only location came up, but not name or exact physical address. Thank God some of us are not as stupid as they think. People really have to be careful. So advise friends and family about these big time scammers.

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      johnnyboy44 9 years ago

      Same scam here! Cosmo inc. sent me a check today! These people just dont give up!! They fail with their e-mails, now they are sending phony checks in the mail! My check is for $2,930.25 from the island showroom inc. DBA home & stone which is in Broooklyn NY? This check looks soo real! It is from Chase bank in Brooklyn NY. Im so glad I found this page before I fell victim!! My family was getting so excited!! I work for a living, I wish these scam artists would give it up! Americans are not as gullable as they think!! To Teresa before me, its kind of weird that you and I won the same exact ammount dont ya think? $4100 here too? My guess is that your letter is the exact same as the one I got on the same exact day?!!! Phone number 306-880-8587? Its from Canada! Our government needs to do something about these people before this gets any further out of hand. These people should be held accountable for this crime!! Eventualy they may get it right, and get some of this $$ they are after! The Us is going through a tough enough time right now. We need to stand together and spread the word before this scam makes more victims! Thanks for everyones help! God bless you all!

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      Teresa 9 years ago

      Today is August 31,2007 and I received a letter today which is similar to the letters all of you received. My letter is coming from Cosmo Financial and it also states clearing house....etc. The amount of the check is for $3,100.00 and if deposited and withdrawn I will get back $41,000.00. My mom wanted me to deposit it, but lucky for me I always look into the internet for more comments on these types of letters. Because I know that like there are bad people there are also nice people in this world. Thank God our lord that I came across this website. I really would like to thank each and everyone of you for the comments on this website, I knew that God still has angels on earth and those angels are all those who gave us a helping hand in this website. I still have until September 25, 2007 to claim prize, What should I do call the authorities, or call the bank in which the check is made from? Thank you all and may God bless each and everyone of you. We all could use a little cash and so help me God I really needed the cash at this time in my life, but good thing I first researched it before making a mistake I would later on regret....Thanks!

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Fletch, Thanks for visiting my hub and for the comment. Sorry I took so long to respond but I have just returned from vacation. This is obviously a scam as evidenced by all of the different names you cited in your first paragraph. If you cash the check and send the $1,600 to the person using the name Tammy in California he/she will take the money and disappear. In a month or so you will receive a call from your bank informing you that the $2,000 check you deposited has been returned as a forgery and that you must immediately reimburse the bank for the $2,000 check amount plus the usual fees for depositing a check that was returned. My advice is to shred the check and don't deposit it. Good luck. Chuck

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      Fletch 9 years ago

      I think I just got one of these fake lottery winning check & letters in the mail. The letterhead was from "Basic Finance and Security Company." I really hope this is real but after reviewing so many of these other folks stories, I'm beginning to get very skeptical. Under the letterhead it listed "Lotto, PCH, Readers Digest, Sweepstakes, Internet & Casino Games."

      The letter stated, due to sme technical setback to their data base system, sending out notification was delayed. It went on to say this was the third and final notification... I think I would have remembered someone offering to give me $25k between last October and now (but I admit, if I think it is junk I just toss it in the fireplace)... I have a check in hand for $2k. The letter came from Wolf Willow Point, Edmonton AB, Canada. I am supposed to send $1600 to a Tammy Reynolds (6850 Gabels Crest Place, Fontana, CA), then they will send me the remainder of my winnings ($23k). The letter said it was o.k. to call and speak to any of the office staff at 780-604-9678. There was another phone number on the letter also, 1-250-813-0986.

      What do you think? Real or scam? Anybody else hear from these guys specifically? And if it is a scam do you think Tammy is aware of it? If someone from Fontana, California reads this give her a call or drive by her place, find out what she has to say... I have until August 31st supposedly to get her my $1600 so she can process and send me the remainder of my winnings.



      p.s. I look forward to hearing back from anybody about this.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Tony, thans for visiting my Hub and for the comment. Unfortunately, if you check you will probably find that each part of the scammers operation is located in a different place - usually another state/province or country and none of them in the same legal jurisdiction as you. This makes it difficult to coordinate the legal authorities in the various jurisdictions to act in a coordinated effort fast enough to catch them. The best thing to do is for the public to be educated about the scams and not fall for them. When people are smart enough not to become victims there will no longer be a profit in the scams and the scammers will be out of business. Chuck

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      Tony 9 years ago

      Hi I'm from Australia and have received one of these letters from Reader's Digest Finance Department informing me that I COULD be the confirmed sole winner of a $55000 Gold Number Giveaway. I was suspicious and thought this was too good to be true so I did some research and found your site. It's very co-incidental that the cash prize is $55000 isn't it. Anyway I am waiting for the so called confirmation package to arrive and was wondering if there was any way of trapping these scammers to alert unsuspecting victims.

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      Tim 10 years ago

      Hey Chuck

      I receive those checks at least once every three weeks :-). They immediately go to the trash. I'm just always wondering, why in the world they do that. Strange!!


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      Nikki 10 years ago

      Thanks for posting this it was very benefical, I also received a similar letter in the mail. I will admit i was excited because my car just died, my daughter's birthday is coming up and my baby is due 9/7/07 so I called this man to "verify" the check and i grilled him he was pretty thorough and stuck to his story and he congradulated me about 10 times. So i told him everything i just mentioned above and he said this couldn't have come at a better time for you. I thought he was being sympathic towards me but obvisously he could care less. So I'm broke with no car, a birthday coming up and baby due but i'm happy i don't have to pay back any money I don't have, once again thank you for the info-nikki

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      Ron Diamond 10 years ago

      My son received a final award winning notification from Rainbow Financial Trust. As I have read so many of you good folks letters I'm sure this falls right in line with your winning letters. My son has not lived here in about 5 years. Here comes this nice letter with all the promises and warning to keep it a secret until they process the claim along with a nice check for $3188.20 to cover the international clearance fee. He is going to win $58000 is that not nice or what. In checking out Rainbow Financial Trust there were scores of letters entitled RIP off. Beware theere are thieves out there.

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      PAUL SCHNEIDER 10 years ago


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      CJ in Western Colorado 10 years ago

      Thank You for posting your information. My husband received a letter and check for 3975.00 from Winners Reward Program Network. I called the number on the letter and spoke to the man that was stated on the letter; he wasn't concerned that I was calling instead of my husband but was more concerned that I get the check to the bank as fast as possible, thats when I started looking you up on the internet...Thanks Again.

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      Eli 10 years ago

      Thank you guys for saving my time! 2 minuts on the net saved me hours and much grief

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      M. Thompson 10 years ago

      My wife received the same basic setup in the mail today ..... glad we both was worried and did some research on it ....... they are now using Fortune Lottery Gaming Corportation as there name we got a check for 3,625.00 and was told we won 50,000 so they are changing names but the setup is all the same. thanks again for this post and the info you put out there with 4 Kids and my wife this would have basically kicked us to the streets, got to love the greed of some people out there.

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      TJ Adams Anchorage Alaska 10 years ago

      Hey there,

      I am sooooooooo glad that you posted this article. Of course we all could use an extra 40+ thousand dollars and today my fiancé and I received one of these letters. Again it was from Readers Digest, Publishers Clearing House, Online Sweepstakes, Internet games ect. Being the forever skeptic, after I freaked out and thought we had actually won something, I decided to check the net, my next step would have been to talk to a bank manager about the concerns over a fraudulant check. Thieves may be becoming more sophisticated, but then again, obviously so are the intended vitims. Having said that, though, I am sure there are many individuals out there who are becoming victims of this type of sceme. Anyone here know if there is a criminal case against these people?

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      Robert McCausland 10 years ago

      Probably one of the latest Dated July 5th From "Finter Savings & Trust Inc , Nassau, Bahamas. Everything on the letter is about the same as all of the letters received previously. I've search all of the key words in the letter and came up with all kinds of stuff tha lead me to beleive that this was scam" Digest, Publishers Clearinf House, Sweepstakes , Columbus Bank and Trust, which is an affiliate of Synovus Financial Corp. Looked them up to and found some negative information on them too. It just kept getting worse the more I looked.I even search the name "Cindy Miller" who turned out to be a legitimate person because she is a LPGA Golf Pro. The even had the gall to her name. Unbeleivable! Here is the number I was supposed to call 1-902-412 1319 She sounded like she had an accent from the Bahamas. There last statement on the letter was "Once again congratulations from all our staff and thank you for your trust in our services" Ok that really got me PO'd Maybe a lot of you out there thouoght of but didn't say, How do we get even, How do we do something to stop these crooks. I get pretty fired up when some is trying to steal my hard earned money and I do want to put thse people where they belong, In Jail. I will write my congressman and my state rep for starters , but where to go from there. I guess the FBI. I called them about an internet fraud about a year ago and they got back with me in about 45 mins. I was impressed. Its a start and if everyone did this someone will get the picture. Oh by the way he was a very friendly young guy and was very helpful. Try it. Lets make a statement and fight back.

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      nnash 10 years ago

      I got a check in the mail with a letter from sun trust finance in halifax nova scotia canada the number on the letter was 778-316-1454 has anyone else received one like this?

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      Mike13 10 years ago

      I get to add another entry in this 'sweepstakes'. Yesterday I received a business letter with no return address and Post Canada. While I have relatives in Canada, I haven't had a ny business contacts there for a number of years, so I was intrested as to what was inside.

      Opening I found the sweepstakes "final notification" letter and the check. Looking more closely I found that the company on the letterhead was Rainbow Financial Trust, the company on the check was Rainbow Light (appearantly a legit vitamin/health products company in Florida). Both had the same Florida Address, but the letterhead lists Ontario, Canada phone numbers. Further inspection showed the check to be drawn on Comerica Bank - California.

      So, between Canadian postmark and telephone numbers, florida address and California bank, this all added up to be too good to be true. So, I Googled the info.

      results: Rainbow Financial Trust - no listing

      Rainbow Light - appears to be a vitamin and health product company in Florida

      705-350-0200 - no listing

      705-789-8272 - found this hub

      I cannot believe that this scam has been going with the same fax number for over six months.

      Much as I could use the money, I will heed the advice and experiences of the previous posters here. Although, I think I will try notifying any legitimate intrested parties that I can, to contibute what I can to shutting down at least this one scam.

      Chuck, thanks for starting this hub.

      Mike13, Baltimore MD US

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      Leonard-KC 10 years ago

      PRUDENCE FINANCIAL, INC. , The latest name for the same old scam, the check was drawn from SUNTRUST BANK against the account of MAGNOLIA ARABIANS. Where do these scumbags stop, I hope good people don't contribute to this unlawful endeavor.

    • bluewings profile image

      bluewings 10 years ago from Milkyway

      Honestly,I didn't have to 'try' to read this article.It was one of the most interesting non-commercial articles I read in recent times and very informative too.Scammers are getting smarter and I don't think that trend will change.The only way their moves could be countered is perhaps by spreading the word when we discover a crafty scam.Thanks for this informative article and thanks for making it so interesting!

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      Chrissy Webber 10 years ago

      I just received a check today for 3,100.00 also. I was happy and wary at the same time. I wanted to check it out first and went online to find out some info. After coming across your website, I see now I was right it is a scam. The only thing that I did extra that I noticed others didn't do was to reply to an email from Canada or somewhere that said I won a lottery and to email them back with my address, my age, and my nationality, which was weird. Thats when I got the letter about 3 days later. This one was from the SUPER WIN UNIVERSAL GAMING, and it also said publishers clearing house, readers digest, etc. I am just upset that it came during a time when we needed the money. I ended up just taking the check to a local bank that I am not affiliated with and they said they would send it to their hub for reporting. Again, thanks for the insight and I hope we can do something to stop these people from taking advantage of us here in the US.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      T - thank you for visiting my HubPages and for your comment. You were smart to question the check, but did you or your boyfriend ask the teller or manager if there might be something wrong with the check? If you will take a look at my check above you will see that it is a real check from a real company and the word "lottery" doesn't appear on it. The only problem with the check was that it was forged. The company whose name is on the check is both real and legitimate (they were a victim like me) and the bank account on which it is drawn is a legitimate business bank account. In my case, I went to the bank manager and mentioned the words "lottery check" and she instantly knew what it was about. A teller probably would have said something also if I had mentioned the word "lottery" when I presented it. The fact is, I could have been a sales rep for Gold Crest Distributing (the name on the check) and this was my commission check, I could have been a customer who returned merchandise for some reason and this was my refund, etc. Some banks do post signs in their lobbies warning people about these scams but, unfortunately, too many people either fail to read them or are so focused on their lottery winnings that they don't pay attention to the signs. Thanks again for sharing your experience. Chuck

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona


      Thank you for your comment. I, too, have received a few calls like this and, like you, didn't give them my credit card. However, these may not be scams in the sense that the intent is to simply steal from you. Out of curiosity I heard them out just to see what was going on. The free gas card appeared to be legitimate and the request for your credit card number was to sign you up for some sort of buying club where you would get discounts every time you purchased at participating vendors. In return for the discounts they would bill your credit card each month for your membership fee of $X per month. If you make a lot of purchases each month at the participating vendors this could save you some money over and above the monthly fee. However, for most people the savings is not that great and the monthly fee (usually around $10 - $20) usually small enough to be overlooked causing you to forget to make the phone call to cancel it. I personally don't think these offers are worth the long term cost and, even when they are, you can usually find another way to get discounts without having to pay. But, unlike the lottery scams, these things are both legal and legitimate despite their rather dubious marketing tactics. Chuck

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      10 years ago

      My boyfriend received one of these letters also stating that he had won a certain amount of money and enclosed was a cashier's check printed on Bank of America paper. I was very leery of this check. He took it to the bank today and they were actually going to cash the thing!! My whole issue at this point is why are the bank tellers and officals not trained properly to look for these tyoes of scams? I started to research and found this site. Thank you for posting this onhere. We are goingto take the check and the letter to the bank tomorrow to let them know that their bank is being targeted now by scam artisit.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      I recently received a phone call from a rather obnoxious man who informed me I was eligible for a free gas card. Mmhhmmm, I said, sure. He simply needed my credit card info for a one time shipping fee. Uh huh, I said: click. It is crazy to think people might actually give out this information!

    • kellyfilmgirl profile image

      kellyfilmgirl 10 years ago

      Awesome information! I once won a sweepstakes from McDonald's. If how they handled it was any indication, if you do win something, you'll either receive your notification via Fed Ex or certified USPS or UPS. If it comes automatically in the mail, with no tracking system such as delivery confirmation or certification, I'd say it's instantly suspect. I'm so cynical these days that I didn't believe the McDonald's one was real and called their corporate offices to make sure. And even then I made her repeat to me that it wasn't a joke. LOL!

    • ShareWare Wizzard profile image

      ShareWare Wizzard 10 years ago

      Man goog thing u do your homework that could have been bad news after a month or so...

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      Bev 10 years ago

      Hello, Just got a letter in the mail today from Canada but the check for $2,996.84 is from The Las Olas Company in Fort Lauderdale Florida claiming I was selected through a computerized ba;;pt suste, drawm from Readers Digest, Publishers Clearing House, Online Sweepstakes, Internet Games etc. I supposedly won $57,000.00 and a winner for the 2007 sweepstakes draws. The phone # I called was in Saskatchewan Canada. (With a claim #) Anyone else get a check from The Las Olas Company, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale Northern Trust Bank Check ??????

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      Patricia Falls 10 years ago

      Wow. I thought I had done all my research on two such letters I received. One for Sixty five thousand and the other for Fifty thousand. My husband and I examined the letters and the check. Held on to them. Made our phone calls as per letter waiting for them to request money or a credit card number.

      Still sounded to good to be true so I decided to do a search on the internet for the Companies. They were legit. Still wanting to be a skeptic tonite I did a search for "scans and the companies name". When I did that...I found your site. My letters are identical to yours. Checks are as well. Thank You....You just proved to me that I was right to be skeptical. I will now take this to the authorities so that they can alert the companies that these checks might have been stolen from and alert them.

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      yessica 10 years ago

      hey,i got the letter too, what a fake, thank you guys for sharing this information with us, thanks god we have internet to solve our qestions

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      mark piatak 10 years ago

      got one three days ago. A nice check for 2980. Could win 50000. Came from Payment Trust Services in London. The check was from Carver Federal Savings Bank. I am sending the check back to them signed, Not Stupid!


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      Dave 10 years ago

      My wife received a letter today as a "lucky winner of unclaimed prize money" from "indemnity financial" based out of Chantilly, Va claiming to be a subsidiary of Travelers Indemnity Co. The check for $3165.15 is drawn from Citibank Delaware and the watermark on the back IS present. (how do the do that??)

      The instructions on the letter are nearly identical to those described above. The check is to "assist her in financing her international clearance fees". Number to call is 705-350-0159 no later than July 4th 2007.

      Absolutely amazing (and reprehensible) that these thieves are able to duplicate these checks so realistically and take advantage of people this way. Sure hope as many of them are caught and punished as possible.

      Thanks for the site, Dave

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      Gary Phillips 10 years ago

      I am so thankful I did some research. The letter sent to me was from "APEX Financial Services" 250 Consumers Road, Suite 211 Orangeville, ONT W3B4F5. The Claims Agent was Mr. Melvin Ortega. When I called Melvin Ortega I could not understand him, It appeared as if he were on a speaker. I requested many times to speak more clear however, it did not change. I wonder if this too is a ploy so that their voice is not recognizable if caught.

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      Edward 10 years ago

      Just received one today,June 21,2007 from Super Win Universal Gaming, Ottawa Ont.References to Lotto, Pulishers Clearing House, Readers Digest, etc. $68,000 prize, $2980 check.


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      cheers 10 years ago

      I have received soooooooooooo may emails informing me that I have won millions . Yes i did reply but when they says that I have to pay additional charges insurred like freight and insurance charges then they can release the funds. I get to think again. Im not that stupid. I live in Malaysia, if i convert all the charges set then I have to pay triple. I even got a job offer from UK that i didn't apply for, the funniest thing is that i have to pay 20 percent of the flight. I was elated but after being inform I have to pay more, forget it. These people, if i don't pay a cent, they will find another way to scam the pant out from under you.

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      Angel  10 years ago

      These jerks are so stupid they used the same telephone (902 412 8972) number in the Chuck's letter and all I had to do is google the number which then linked me to this page.

      Thanks Chuck.

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      Kim 10 years ago

      Thank you sooo much for this site! Thank god that I don't read my junk mail.I didn't open it until the date had passed.I called and got the voice mail..all day. I knew then that something was up.So I looked Allen & Heath up and found you. Thanks agian.


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      tammy 10 years ago

      I received letter and check from Allen and Health Financial Holdings contact of Judy Freeman at 705-350-0125. The letter stated I won 68,000 just depost the enclosed check of $3175.00 into account and wait to clear. I then was told to send $2920 to another contact person in North Carolina to process. I then contacted Judy and was told 65,000 would be delivered to me in person to stay home. I did all the following, now I am told the check returned as insuffient funds to my bank. I tried to reach Judy. Guess what!!! Voicemail is full of course. I was scammed big time and I have to pay my bank the $3175.00. Please learn from my mistake.

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      dan 10 years ago

      the check i received was from bank of america for 3150.00.i took the check to that bank today and they said it was a fake check .they took copies of it to forward to other branches.they showed me a real cashiers check from them and there were noticeable differences.

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      Paul 10 years ago

      Just received a check for $3,150.00 today like most of the others from Nordik Financial Institution. The address again was 2667 Trout Lake Road, ON. The gimick on this is that I was lucky winner of "unclamied prixe money" for $182.000.00. The check received was suppose to assist me in covering all clearance and administrative fees. We too had a special claim number. Boy does he check look official. Its against the Bank of America, San Antonio, TX. I check the back and it says that it is a Padlock design with simulated watermark, but putting up to the light I saw nothing. Thanks for all of the previous postings, it saved me from trying to collect my winnings! ;-)

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      dan 10 years ago

      i just received my check appears to be a cashiers check from bank of america.i'll be taking the check and letter to that bank in the morning.i'll respond back with their reply.

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      Belinda 10 years ago

      just received my letter today for my 68,000, with a check for 2450.00. i called the number in ontario and was asked for my name and telephone number, they are going to return my call after they look up my claim number. haha, i even called back and told him i had heard of this scam, what a joke

    • sporsfanX profile image

      sporsfanX 10 years ago from US

      Great story, thanks!

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      Carrie 10 years ago

      I received a letter and check today(2450.00) from Pacific Funds Management with directions to deposit the check, wait for it to post, and then pay the fees in order to collect the remaining 68, 000. I sat there staring at the letter and check, bewildered by the seemingly real check. I called the number and they had me on hold for some time, which I used to look up information on the internet. Once I came upon all the information that this was fraud, I hung up. The call was to ontario so I'm sure there will be fees associated with that, but far less than if I would have gave into my intense desire to drive straight to the bank and deposit that check!!!!

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Shiela, GG, - Thanks for your comments.

      Shiela, as to what you can do, realistically there is not much. As I have said in other comments on this page, these people operate across multiple jurisdictions and make it a practice to start a scam, make some quick money and exit (note that your letter indicated that you had to cash the check within a very short time). This makes it very difficult for law enforcement to catch these people. Before law enforcement can investigate and track them down they are gone.

      Further, in the case I wrote about the checks were stolen from a small country bank in Missouri, the letter was mailed from somewhere in the U.S. but office address on the envelope was a P.O. box on the island of Gibraltar in Europe, the telephone number I was instructed to call was in Nova Scotia (Canada) and I am sure that if I had followed through and wired them the money that they were asking for, that would have gone to an account in Eastern Europe. Each one of these is a different legal jurisdiction and trying to coordinate an investigation involving multiple international jurisdictions, let alone track criminals down within a period of 2 weeks or less is nearly impossible.

      You can contact the bank on which the check is drawn to let them know that someone is stealing the checks and you can inform your local law enforcement about the existance of the scam. But the best thing you can do is first, be suspecious (as you were) of any promises of something for nothing, and, second, tell other people to be careful as well. So long as there are people who are willing to cash these checks and forward the "taxes and fees" to the crooks, these criminals will remain in business. Once people stop falling for their crimina schemes, they will go out of business.

      Occasionally law enforcement will get lucky and catch some of the dumber members of these operations. But, relying on law enforcement alone to stop these schemes makes no more sense than expecting to be able to grab your 2 year old child and prevent him/her from being hurled through the windshield of you car traveling 60 or 70 miles per hour on the freeway when it collides with another car - use a car seat instead. The same here, the odds are against law enforcement being able to protect us against these schemes - so use common sense and knowledge instead.

      I'm glad both of you were able to get information in time and avoid losing money in this scam. Chuck

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      GG 10 years ago

      I received a letterand check today similar to the ones above. My was titled "COUNTY SHOPPERS SWEEPSTAKES" there was a claim number and it explained I had consequently won the 2nd Category of the draw to be paid out in a lump sum of USD 68,000.00. My Cashiers check to cover Accounting, tax and clearance fees was in the Amount of $2450. on a check made from Whitney National Bank in New Orleans.

      I knew it was too good to be true. It says my name was randomly picked from US Shoppers list in North America. That was the first flag of doubt. The second one was a grammer error in the third paragraph which stated "These Fees Has to be paid..." Then I wanted to know why I had to call a long distance number Area code 902 to do anything with this money. And I have 2 weeks to claim the prize.

      I knew this was a scam but it looked too real. But as they say if it looks too good to be real it probably is. So I called a few people, read them the letter and they agreed with me it was a fake of some sort.

      I am so glad I came on the internet and found this site and a few others that describe similar storys. They all have the "Publishers Clearing House, Readers Digest Sweepstakes & Internet Casino company.

      How nice it would have been to have this money but it is as worthless as the paper it is written on. Tomorrow during business hours I will start a letter writing campaign to the authorities to let them know of this scam.

      I hope people don't get suckered into it but I know there will be many. Especially the poor souls who really desperately need this money as an answer to their prayers. Thank God I am not one of those!

      Just thought I would share this too. Since I did a search for the "Country Shoppers Sweepstakes" and came up blank. It wasnt until I put in the bogous company that I got to this website.

      Thanks to all who have posted to reassure me and others that this is truly a scam!

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      Sheila  10 years ago

      I received a letter and check today allegedly from Super Win Universal Gaming (also allegedly affiliated with PCH). Since I never had even heard of Super Win, much less entered a lotterly helf by ECASINO, I was more than bit suspicious. I just found your website and am wondering what I should do next, other than tearing up the letter and check. Any suggestions about how to nail these creeps?


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      madsuzukibiker 10 years ago from Leeds

      Hi Chuck

      Glad to here you didn't fall for the scam. I'm amazed how these lowlife still manage to con people into thinking they have won something for nothing. I guess they play on peoples greed/desperation. I am a member of the legitimate UK lotto syndicate V-W-D, and I have heard stories whereby scammers have sent out similar letters using my syndicates name. They are very convincing and authentic looking but the old adage is true. If you haven't bought a ticket you cant win a prize. End of story.

      Here in the UK if anyone receives a similar letter and wants to check it out they can visit our governments Lottery Councils Website.

      Thanks again for the post Chuck, lets hope this helps save someone some heartache

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      lesa 10 years ago

      I faxed all the information that I received from Pacific Funds Management over to the bank that the cashiers check was drawn maybe they can do something.

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      Candy  10 years ago


      we received one too. Pacific Funds Management, Publishers Clearing House, Readers Digest Sweepstakes & Internet Casino. Check was $2450 but we WON $68,000! I wish!This letter was sent from 7325 Chauncey Avenue, Tor. Ont. Phone: 604-338-2589.

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      lesa 10 years ago

      I received a check from Pacific Funds Management...also used Publishers Clearing House & Readers Digest as a rep. I called the bank the 2450.00 cashiers check was drawn on...and no such routing number . The letter I received was the same , to deposit the check and send the money in. These people should be shot.

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      tedra 10 years ago

      Thank you so much. I just recieved a check yesterday from Diamond Jewel Sweepstakes. They used Publishers Clearing House as a rep. On the check they say they bank from Bank One. I called the bank yesterday and explained the situation. I asked them if they could tell me if it was a correct account. I took a few minutes for them the look up the information but when they found what they were looking for, they told me the account was closed. Today i called the number on the letter and asked them what the deal was. They told me that i needed to deposit the check right away. I told them that I called their bank and the account has been closed. Can you believe they had the nerve to hang up on me? Anyway the check was for 3,120 and I could have used the money but I guess so can a lot of people. I'm just glad I didn't fall for their scheme.

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      Richard 10 years ago

      I also received a letter from Northern Alliance Financial Institute with a check from American International South Insurance Company. I also could use some $$ now. My wife asked if she should deposit the $$. I told her I thought it was a fraud, but, I would check it out. I was amazed that an insurance company would send me $$. I would call them but there is not a number or an address on the check, just a policy number. I called my "North American agent", Mr. Michael Livingston and like others he wanted to know if I had deposited the check yet. I told him no, but, I was going to that afternoon. His excitement level went up and he made a mistake. He told me that I would receive my 68k after I deposited it, but, I should not mention it to anyone since he was not going to inform the IRS of my winnings. I have had dealings with the IRS before, not fun ones, so I really knew this was a fraud then. I thanked him and told him I was heading to the bank.

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      NANCY 10 years ago

      Hi, i just received a check for $3,120.00 then i read the letter. I then took a deep breath and thought to myself , could my prayers be answered God? will all of my financial worries be over? Then i read it two more times and i even went across the street in order that friend counl read it ,due to a accountant and even she wondered. She suggested that i get on the internet and do a resreach and thats when i came across you info. Thank you for all your info and may God bless you for letting others know. p.s it was from LOTTO,PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE,READERS DIGEST, SWEEPSTAKES & INTERNET CASINO. I HAVE TO ADMIT IT MADE ME LIVE IN DREAM WORLD FOR A FEW MIN. THANKS NANCY

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      Dnet 10 years ago

      I got one from Allen & Heath financial holdings....

      I am so happy I decided to punch the name into google!!!!!!!!

      I did figure it was a scam, but, a check with my name on it....hmm....

      hard to resist. Now I certainly will.

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      Karen W. 10 years ago

      I received a Check of $3,175. 00 to Deposit, Letter from Allen & Heath Financial Holdings, North Bay, ON (705) 350-0125,,, to call Judy Freeman, North American Agent, Must Claim my 'Unclaimed Sweepstakes from Readers Digest/ PCH by

      June 1st, 2007. The Check WAS REAL, with Water Marks on the Back. The Letter said I needed to use part of this money to Pay Processing Fees.

      Thanks for Being hear, with your F.Y.I. I was sooooooooo tempted.

      Best Regards, Karen in S.C./USA

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      Tre 10 years ago

      I just received a check in the sum of $4685, from Jackpot Finance Gaming. The check has a legitimate bank on it, Bank of Holly Springs, in Holly Springs,MS. I myself am also tempted to cash this check, but I know it is a gimmick. They say that these funds are to cover my processing and clearence fees, for me to get $38,000. YEAH RIGHT. One thing for sure, that check got my pockets burning.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Lindsay, Thank you for your comment. As to reporting it, you can call the fraud division of your local police and/or sheriffs department. You could also contact American International South Insurance Company and let them know that their checks are being forged. But don't expect much because, as I have noted in other comments above, these people not only divide the operation between multiple jurisdictions (and sometimes countries) but they come into an area, run the fraud and then exit before police are aware of their presence. The best thing to do is be alert for things like this and warn other people to do the same. Realistically, law enforcement can do very little to protect us (their web pages and other publications will tell you this) so it is up to each one of us to resist the temptation to take advantage of something for nothing.


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      lindsay 10 years ago

      we recieved this one to the Roseburg Oregon area. The company logo on the check is American International South Insurance Company and the amount is 3175.00. The top of the letter says Northern Alliance Financial Institution, the address on the bottom is 2667 Trout Lake Rd. the same as the others, they did switch what you are paying for to "administration and processing fees" and they give you a fake claim number. My mother in law actually recieved this and I just knew something was hinky, had to look it up, thank you for posting your experience. Who should we contact about this check? to report the fraud?

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      JW, Thanks for the comment. I understand your friend's problem and the temptation to cash the check and use the money to solve her immediate problem knowing that she will have to repay the money plus bank fees.

      Assuming the bank only charges $50 - $100 for the returned check, that would still be a rather high rate on a check that probably totals $4,000 or less as your friend will only have the money for a month or two at the most before it is returned as stolen and the bank demands that the funds be repaid along with the fees that the bank levies.

      As to other reprecussions, I am not a lawyer and can't give legal advice. However, since banks are insured by the F.D.I.C (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) which is an agency of the Federal Government, the F.B.I. does investigate cases involving bank fraud and your friend may have some problems if the F.B.I. determines that she knowingly deposited a stolen check. The fact that your friend knows that the check is stolen and she still cashes it with the intention of using the money until the bank seeks to get it back, may result in some legal problems for her. Honesty is probably the best policy here and that would mean not cashing a check that she knows to be stolen. Chuck

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      JW 10 years ago

      Heres My Question a friend just got her check .. and Like E.W. Above .. she is in a bad finacial situation .. and could use the money .. if she were to cash the check and the bank did give her the money ... of course never sending these poeple any of that money... and other than { $50-$100 } bank fees are there any other Repircutions ...

      Becuase , she thinks that is a very low interest rate for the loan, she cant get ........

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      Lucky1 10 years ago

      I thank God for giving me patience and the wisdom to know when something is a fluke. I received my letter in the mail about 3 days ago. I kept reading the letter and looking at the check over and over again to check for legitimacy because I definitely needed the money at this time. Although the check appeared to be legit, it's actually the letter that would make any person think twice. Mine was also from Allen & Heath financial holdings for $3,175.00 wjith the possibility of receiving $68,000.00. However, when I kept calling the number, Ms. Judy Freeman's voice mail was always full. She finally answered once and when I said hello, she quickly switched her phone back to the filled voice mail message. Besides, I think that if I won something, just take my fees out from the start and send me the rest. Why send a check only to have to return a gigantic portion of it when they could have taken that out already?

      Anyway, I'm glad that I decided to investigate further. Thank you for this blog. I almost became another victim of this scam.

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      uh oh 10 years ago

      I should have known. I deposited the damn thing. After reading this, I called the bank and they said that they would put a hold on it to keep me from getting into any trouble.

    • gdi profile image

      gdi 10 years ago from Italy - Albania - Turkey

      two months ago a similar scam company send me a e-mail. and asked for my replay. I did replay and after they asked me to deposit to their account 100 $ and they would send me 24.000 $ :D ... but i am not stupid like that. And if u see e-mails like that just send it to junk folder. Never replay to them

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      Ike 10 years ago

      Just recived a check from Diamond Jewel Sweepstakes. Realy wanted to cash it, but insted decided to go on line. Lo and behold. It is a scam. I will be calling the Community First National Bank in West Plains Mo. tomorrow. $3100.00 for $65000.oo too bad.... I, like every body else could use it. Florida

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      karen 10 years ago

      GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!!!!!

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      karen 10 years ago

      Hi!! wow, I was just about to cash my check but something told me to look it up in the net, and thank you for posting this information.. I recieved something similar like your I had the same intensions everyone of them :) mine it comes from (DIAMOND JEWEL SWEEPSTAKES)PLUBLISHER'S CLEARING HOUSE, READER'S DIGEST, ONLINE CASINO, ONLINE SWEEPSTAKES


      (613) 261-7954 and I call and this guy with kids in the background answerd ha! funny no company name no hello nothing all he wanted was to know when I deposit my check. He is probably still waiting for my money to show up in his account..... Thanks for taking the time to help others!!!!

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      Shawna 10 years ago

      Just got mine over the weekend, from Pacific Funds Managements. Thanks for the website - glad logic ruled over greed (this time =)

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      Ben 10 years ago

      Just received this same letter (virtually) although the name of the firm is Allen & Heath "Financial Services". I knew it was too good to be true so I did some web research and discovered this page. Thank you Chuck for shedding some light on the subject, as I wondered why I couldn't just cash the check and keep the money.

      It turns out Allen & Heath is a legitimate manufacturer of audio mixing equipment based out of Agoura Hills, California, though the return address in the letter is 2667 Trout Lake Road, North Bay, Ontario. Telephone number is 705-350-0125. Also, I was suspicious because the check is issued from HSBC Bank out of Plattsburgh, NY (???). Seems odd a California based company would be using a bank in New York.

      Anyway, I won't be depositing this thing, thanks mostly in part to finding this article. Be advised, several people I know have gotten the same thing in the mail recently, though they all seem to vary slightly in content.

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      Lyn 10 years ago

      I got a check from Life Settlement LLC in Baltimore, MD drawn off M&T Bank. Glad i did some research!

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      Mike 10 years ago

      new one going on....2350.00 from Pacific Funds Managements...same scam

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      keyshah24 10 years ago

      Hi Chuck,     May 12, 2007

      Well, what I did was contact the branch manager of the bank tha the check came from. (Castle Bank) I told her that I had a check from that bank and how much the check was for. She then asked me for the check # and I told her. She also said that she wanted me to make a copy of the check and letter and fax it to her number. She said that they've been building a case againgt these people and this will only help the investigation. She also stated that they have been getting many checks from these people and unlike others, I am the only one that actually called them first before depositing or cashing the check. She thanked me for calling and informing them and she apologized that the money wasn't for real and for me to keep. I told her it was no problem and I'm just glad that I could help.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Keyshah, thanks for the comment. I strongly advise you NOT to deposit the check. From what I have been told, the check will probably clear, however, it will probably take a month or so for the company on which the check has been written to discover that it was stolen and forged. They will then report this to their bank and it will be returned to your bank and you will have to repay the money. Even if you leave the money in the bank for a couple of months so as to have it when the check comes back you will still probably find that your bank assesses fees against your account for depositing a bad check. Whenever you deposit a check that is returned the banks generally assess fees (sometimes as high as $50 or more) for the costs they incur in having to manually process the item.

      I noticed that the telephone number that they had you call was from Canada, but I was surprised to see that they want you to send the money to Dallas, TX as these people generally want to get the money out of the country fast. However, the person your are supposed to send it to is probably an innocent victim who thinks he is an agent for a reputable company (see my hub in which I describe how these foreign criminals are hiring unsuspecting people in the U.S. and other developed countries to help them move stolen funds out of these countries and to Eastern Europe or Asia where the criminals are operating from). More than likely address you were given is a private mailbox rental service and the Suite number is the individual's mailbox number.

      Since the deadline these people gave you for acting on your check is still almost a week away, you could email or call the police in Dallas, Texas and give them the information you have about the person and address there. While that person is probably an innocent victim, the police still might be able to both get the contact information for where he forwards money to abroad as well as inform him that he is working for a criminal organization. You might also want to inform the police in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. I went to and did a reverse phone number search on 902-412-0246. Of course, no name or address was available but I did learn that the number is for an entity located in Halifax. Again, they may be able to trace that person down.

      Don't expect too much from the police as, in addition to investigating more serious crimes, these scammers are difficult to catch because they come into a city, set up the operation, run it for a few weeks and leave making them difficult to track down and catch. In addition, they divide the operation up with each part operating in a different part of the world and in some parts use innocent and unsuspecting victims to front for them (like the bank whose checks they stole and are using and probably the Dallas contact person).

      If you do decide to report this please let me know if anything comes from it. But, whatever you do, don't deposit the check as it will end up costing you money. Speak to the branch manager at you bank if you want and he/she will probably tell you the same thing. Good luck.


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      keyshah24 10 years ago

      Hi Chuck, May 8, 2007

       I too got a letter out of the box today. My letter was from COSMOS FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT GROUP. The content within the letter was pretty much the same as all the others. I supposedly won the international lottery promotions. There was a check in an envelope for $2950. I had to call a Leon Edward (from cosmos financial management group; an accredited agency to the publisher's clearing house) at 902 412 0246. YEA RIGHT!!! I called him because I was happy about getting the money and I just wanted to see if it was for real. NOT!!! He told me to deposit the check into my account, give it two days to clear, and then withdraw $2800 and send a money gram to a ALEX LINDO, 6025 DESOTO AVE. SUITE 500, HUSTON TEXAS, 77091. After I've sent the money gram to Alex, call him (LEON)  back with the money gram ref. # and then he'll release my remaining $58,150.00. I've done nothing yet, I wanted to search the internet and see what I could find out and then I stumbled onto this site. I knew it was too good to be true. Now I'm wondering what I should do next. Should I go to the authorities or should I call the police in Houston, TX and tell them this information? Do you have any suggestions of how I should handle this? Keep in mind that I have until May 14 to respond. I'm thinking that I should deposit the check just to see if it clears but my bank takes 5 days to clear a check and that's three days more than what LEON said.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Thanks for the comment Dave. As to using Marriott as their disguise, well, their goal is to cheat people out of their money so anything goes as far as they are concerned.

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      Dave 10 years ago

      I also recieved a very similar check and notification as Vinny above. As a result of this great website - I am going to tear it to shreads right after posting this comment. Hard to believe thay would go as far as to use Marriott as their disguise. Thanks ALL!!!

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      E.A. McGavran 10 years ago

      Sorry-- cont'd-- Just want to save people-- anyone, the heartache and financial demise this could cause. I feel for anyone down on their financial luck or situation because this would be so tempting. Before taking anyone up on an offer that seems to good to be true, DO your checking before they SCREW your checking (acct.) Pray before you play (I did). God will take care of all your needs. Pray and listen. Just listen...

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      E.A. McGavran 10 years ago

      DON'T CASH IT!!! It IS too good to be true. My under-age son received one of these letters and a legitimate looking check for $3,190. It was from MARRIOTT FINANCIAL SERVICES, 2665 TROUT LAKE ROAD, ON (CANADA) P1B 8K3, Tel: 1-705-0113; Fax 1-705-789-8272. I don't believe you should let the name fool you. After doing some research, sound like same thing with different names and adds. We did deposit the check. Thank goodness I came home and did some internet research. I called my personal banker to let her know I thought it may be a scam and she did the confirming that she needed to do. Called me back to let me know that it was indeed fraudulent! They reversed and didn't post.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      E.W. Thanks for the comment and sorry to hear about your grandson's car. It is nice to hear that some good appears to have come out of this - I just hope the fees the bank levies for depositing a check that is returned will be too high. As to the bank knowing about the check being bad, if the check is real (and these usually are), there is no notice warning that the check has been stolen (which there usually is not as the company from wihich they have been stolen or copied has not yet discovered this) and there is money in the account to cover the check (again, these companies who have their checks stolen or copied like this usually are not aware until they reconcile their books at the end of the month) there is really no way for the bank to know the check is stolen. I hope everything continues to work out with this for your grandson. Chuck

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      E.W. 10 years ago

      My grandson got a check his check is with a bank that i bank with. one of U.S. largest banks it is a real check or look to be . he cashed the check with no problem. it was for $2900.00 they gave him the money. i told him to hold off until we got more information but when in desparation (car broke down, phone off, rent,ect) he went an cashed it. it seemed to me that that the bank would know.the ck. is from the same bank he cashed it. god help us! the money is being used in good faith. they said that this money would have to be used to pay taxes on the $58800.00 so he decied not to take the big money and just cash the ck.he might have to pay the money back but it saved our behinds. we would not have been able to get a lone for that amount of money. so i thank his luckey stars.

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      yeah right 10 years ago

      i got one too....i'd like to beat their terrorist bitch asses...i just hope i don't find one of those bitches thank you for this site for we in this country are beautiful sad dreamers

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      Vinny 10 years ago if I had cash the check, yet. give away right there. She was more interested on the check that I have more than congratulating me on the remaining money that she suppose to send me in the amount of $96,000. I told her that I would do more research and she said fine and that she would talk to me soon. Thanks to this website that I've gotten more info about these Scum bags. I'm not done with Ms. Mosley though, I will play along with her little scam on the phone tomorrow and I will ask her where I need to send the money. Wish me luck!

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      Vinny 10 years ago

      I still have the check on my lap as I'm writting this. This check is from Marriott International , Inc. in the amount of $3,190.00. I wanted to cash the check that looks real in any way but before doing that, I contacted my North American agent name Ms. Katherine MOSLEY (just like on the letter- last name all capitals). The first three calls, I get an answering machine that's full already as I'm not able to leave a message. By the way, this is also a number in Canada. I've checked the area code. The fourth try, I was able to speak to the agent and she assured me that everything is legal and ask

    • thecounterpunch profile image

      thecounterpunch 10 years ago

      Funny I didn't know that kind of scheme :)

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      amy 10 years ago


    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      cgull8m, Thanks for your comment. I am not sure that a bank can electronically check to see if a check drawn on an account at another bank has sufficient funds. They can check their own accounts but the scammers always use accounts at some out of the way bank and they usually use stolen checks. In the case I described, even if the bank could check the account before hand it would have had sufficient funds since the account belonged to a legitimate mid-size company and probably had a decent balance. The problem was that the check was a forgery - more than likely the scammers had gotten hold of a check from this company and then used their computer to create copies. The check would have been returned not because of insufficient funds but because it was a stolen check. As to the banks, the credit union I use has a written warning at each teller window warning customers about depositing checks from unknown persons or companies. They specifically mention lottery winnings from lotteries that the customer didn't enter and checks with instructions to deposit and immediately withdraw the funds to forward by Western Union. Also, in the case of my check, I wanted to learn more about the scam and how it worked and when I asked at the commercial bank I use the manager immediately filled me in on the fraud. The problem with the banks accepting these checks for deposit is that the checks are real and look legitimate. Look at the image of the check above that I received - to a bank teller or anyone else it looks legitimate. It was the accompanying letter and the fact that I had no reason to receive the check that tipped me off to the fraud behind it.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 10 years ago from North Carolina

      I also received a check from a law firm, I had an inkling to deposit it, one could be easily swayed if one doesn't see the problems you have outlined. I tore it after some time. The bank charges was the thing that stopped me, the banks won't warn us would rather let us deposit the checks first and charge us later. They should be blamed. Now they have the electronic facility they can check whether the funds are there in seconds. So, the banks love these scammers, they are also profiting from it.

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      Angie Snow 10 years ago

      I am so happy to have found your comments today! I just got my winning notice and a check in the mail yesterday from the DIAMOND JEWEL SWEEPSTAKES. It came in an envelope with no return address and a canadian stamp. It is very similar to the letter Chuck posted, with only a few differences. It also claims to be a Publisher's Clearning House, Readers Digest, Online Casino, Online Sweepstakes affiliated thing. My check was in the amount of $3100 dollars, and the letter claims that I have won $65,000, a prize that is part of $390,00 shared between six of us. I knew it was too good to be true! I appreciate all your postings and warnings. I was about to call the number, but I think you all just saved me a lot of trouble and hassle! Thanks!

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      Karen 10 years ago

      I received a letter on 4/21/07 that was dated 4/13/07. I have until 4/30/07 to claim winnings of $44,650.00. The cashier's check is in the amount of $2,350.00. The letter head has a palm tree on it and is from Pacific Financial, Inc. in Winnipeg, MB sponsor: LOTTO, READERS DIGEST, PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE. The cashiers check is from First National Bank and Trust in Beloit, WI. Content is pretty much the same as previous letters shown above.

      Thanks for your keeping the site up to date.


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      Money 10 years ago

      That was a very good read .. but long too. ... Thanks

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Thanks for the update and comment. Checks drawn on Canadian banks and cashed in the U.S. do take longer than U.S. checks, even those drawn on out of state small town banks in the U.S., to clear so the scammers are trying to buy a little more time. I wouldn't be surprised if they were mailing checks drawn on U.S. banks to Canadians they are trying to scam as the same delays would apply to Canadian checks cashed in the U.S. Again, you are right, no stranger is simply going to send you a check with no strings attached. Thanks again for the comment. Chuck

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      Mentor on the Lake Police Ohio 10 years ago

      ProNor out of 1851 Derry Road East Mississauga, ont. is another scam. Phone number is 1-902-412-9361. Remember no one is going to give you money for free. The checks are out of Canada and take along time to clear. The promotion Manager is Willis T. Marshall. I called and as soon as I said I was a Detective they hung up on me.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      S, thanks for your comment and sorry to hear that they almost got the money from you. This is becomming more and more common and I have been noticing signes posted at the teller windows of some banks that I have been in warning people about first depositing lottery checks from lotteries they haven't entered and as well as about following instructions to withdraw the money and sending it to a stranger via Western Union. Chuck

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      S. 10 years ago

      I too Received a check, but sad to say that i did deposit the check and its waiting to be cleared...i called the number back and they want me to money gram it to an address in Canada. i was like NO WAY this is seriously bullshit now! why am i sendng someone else money when they could of sent it themselves anyways i will call my bank to let them know not to clear it anymore. after reading this i know its bullshit now thanks.

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      Sabrina (Alabama) 10 years ago


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      CLAIR 10 years ago


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      Patsy  10 years ago

      I received a letter 4 days ago in the name of Basic Finance And Security Company, and a check for 2800.00 they only asked for 2350.00 back for insurance and processing fees. But, it did have under the name of the company Lotto,Publishers Clearing House, Readers Digest, Sweepstakes, Internet and Casino Games. As some of the other letters it had an Canadian stamp and no return address...asked me to send 2350.00 to a Debbie Marino in Dunn, North Carolina in Money Gram or Western Union. The lady i spoke with had a very heavy accent. I also asked to speak with a manager and they were not in and told me to call back tomorrow between 9 and 10. The Csr rep, Hung up on me twice when i asked if this was a scam or if i said i did not understand what she was saying to me. I called her back and she told me that she thought i hung up on her....... The # of the company Basic Finance is 306-351-0052. And my letter is signed Sincerely, Graham Wright.

      Thanks Everyone and Chuck for your hub

      Patsy from Chicago.

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      Liz 10 years ago

      I too received a letter today from Tower Processing Center 6400 Queen's Square St Thomas Virgin Islands 00754. They also sent an assistance check of $2962 for taxes and adminstrative expenses. There was a Canadian stamp on this letter too. The bank was Mid Missouri Credit Union. I'm not calling any numbers...who knows if they can get you with phone charge too?..Thanks for the help here.-------------------- Liz ----------New York State

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      Nnieka 10 years ago

      I received a letter today from Tower Processing Center 6400 Queen's Square St Thomas Virgin Islands 00754. They sent an assistance check of $2962 for taxes and adminstrative expenses. Mark Stevens @ Tower Processing Center is supposedly out of the United Kingdom but similar phone number of 1-902-412-9755. Canadian stamped and check had payer name of Bowne of New York out of New York. The phone number on the check is 519-991-3093. I called this number and no professional greeting just a "hello". I asked if the check was real he stated "yes but before you cash it make sure to call the number on the winning form". I did some research because of course it didn't sound totally legit and came across this hub "thank god" before I got myself into trouble. I contacted Bowne of New York, by the way, it was a diffterent phone number than on the check. I left a message for an accounts payable person to contact me if they want more info on the check. I also called the bank and they have been made aware. Thanks for this info. You saved a lot of us a major headache.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Ralph, thanks for the comment. Frankly I have been surprised, and pleased, with all the comments especially the ones that read the article and decided not to cash one of these checks that they had received.

      I still check, but if you want to test it, I will endorse it and send it to you. Who knows, maybe by some fluke of fate my check is actually legitimate... lol!! Thanks again.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 10 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Where's my check?! Looks like you hit a nerve with this hub! Thanks.

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      Laura 10 years ago

      Thanks for posting this information. Last night (3/29) I received my letter from Venture Lotto Commission and a check for $3050. The letter was the same as the one you posted. I thought is was suspicious because on 3/24 I received an email saying I had won the UK National Lottery held on the same date (3/22) as the one in the letter. Although I had enough sense to know that the email was a fraud, this letter with the check was so tempting! Thanks for all your research. I will be bringing this check to my bank. This has to stop!

      Laura in Texas

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      Lona 10 years ago

      Thanks a million...make that $3,050 and a possible $56,700 for this information!!! How disgusting... and I hope these people get caught!!

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      Rick Dunay 10 years ago

      My wife just received the Venture Lotto Commission scam. I did a search and saw this blog. Thanks!!! I brought the letter to the local BB&T branch. They were much appreciative.

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      Jami 10 years ago

      Last night I also recieved a letter from Venture Lotto Commision. It looked like a legit check. These people are good. Thank you for this site, because my husband and I looked the company name on the internet and found this info. I decided to actually contact BB&T Bank since this was the bank the funds were to be drawn on. The lady instructed me to bring the check to my bank. She said they are trying to catch these people. If you bring it to your bank they will forward info to BB&T or whatever bank is listed on the check. She also ran the routing # but I thing these people screwed up on was that they made the routing # 7 digits but they are 9!! So right off the bat there you know it is a fake.

      Jami, Massachusetts

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      Samantha 10 years ago

      Hi Chuck, thanks for this information! I also received a letter today from Liberty Promotions Lottery, Inc, in St. Thomas. I thought it was wierd too, but I actually did register with Readers Digest, but it was last year. So, I called the guy, it was almost 10 oclock at night, and I was thinking it would be an answering machine or an automated message (I just wanted to see if it was legit). Well, the guy explained to me what to do, and then told me congratulations and hung up the phone. I was still uneasy, so I looked it up on the internet, and tada... it's fake. I'm so glad I did, cause my husband I were both thinking about what to do with our new found riches. It's is wrong, very wrong, and they aren't really stealing from these companies but from us. And I feel violated... and I'm wondering how they got my phone number, and now I want to call the poor company on the check (First Advantage Services), and let them know someone stole their information. Anyway, I hope this site stays first on my search engine so people can be aware. Hopefully no one gets scammed from this and have to pay for something they didn't do.

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      Joy, FL 10 years ago

      I recieved a check today from Venture Lotto Commission and called and talked to a "claim agent" named Steven Wells. I could hardly understand the guy because of his extremely thick accent (I hate that!) I asked him if the company he worked for had a BBB member ID# he could give me. All he said was "uuhhhhh...." so I asked to speak with his supervisor who conveniently was not available at the moment. Anyway the rest of my story reads the same as everyone else, I did not deposit the check and am so thankful to you Chuck for this site!!!!! God Bless you!!!

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      kathy 10 years ago

      Hi Chuck, I too have received a letter stating I was a winner of unclaimed prize money for the 2007 sweepstakes draws. The letter headis Venture Lotto Commission Inc with the sponsers being Publishers Clearing House, Readers Digest and Online Games. It came in the mail Saturday 24, & I have til April 3 to deposit it. Thanks for this site. I am taking mine to my bank tomorrow. Soon as I started reading it I knew it was a scam!!

      Kathy, NC

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Diane - thanks for the comment and for visiting my HubPages. Anything that seems to be too good to be true usually is and that is why it is at least a good idea to check it out. If you got one of these checks, others in your area probably have received them also and your bank manager has either seen others cash them and then get stuck having to repay it whent he checks turn out to have been stolen or has received notices about this type of check from top management. I have now noticed signs posted in the lobby of the bank I use warning about these checks and other types of scams. Also, when I signed on to my Western Union account yesteday to send money to my mother-in-law in Russia for her birthday, they had a notice warning about the other types of fraudulent Internet money schems that I wrote about in another hub Thanks again for the comment. Chuck

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      Diane 10 years ago

      Comment by Diane - 3/25/07

      Just received letter like the one above, but from Venture Lotto Commission Inc. , St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. But oddly enough, this came in a no return address envelope with a Canadian stamp. I was very tempted to deposit the $3,050 check that came from Ft Worth, Tx so that the balance of $50,248 could be released to me, but deep down I knew it was too good to be true. Instructions say that prize money needed to be claimed no later than the 3rd of April. Want I am going to do is take it to the bank next week & speak with the manager.

      Diane from Michigan

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      barbara-12/12/06and2/26/07 10 years ago

      The one I just recieved on 2/26/07 is the same as eveyone else's only a different company AMT Financial Trust Services, of course a real company, Emerald Isle, NC exact same letter, only the check amount being different($3,200.00). As soon as I saw it I knew! Only because,two months earlier-12/12/06- to be exact, I happened to recieve a letter almost quite like it, only this one had informed me I just recieved a GRANT! In this letter the "company" was Fortune Grants Inc. ("supposedly" government accredited and licensed") the grant being $75,000, and the check for $3,700. I just knew something was fishy! I have a girlfriend who runs a bank, of course I brought the letter and check right over to her. Confirmed! FRAUD! I guess since I didn't fall for the grant they decided to try the lottery one on me! One thing I did notice though, both the envelopes, were exactly the same also! No return addresses, plastic windows and get this, both had CANADIAN stamps on them! The grant letter also had a Canadian address at the bottom of it's page-737 Fort Street-Victoria, BC V8W 2V1, Canada. The first thing my girlfriend said was "Why would the Canadians be involved in a U.S. citizens grant?" Anyway, just remember, nothing's really "free" anymore.

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      Bobman 10 years ago

      I just got a letter from LIBERTY PROMOTIONS LOTTERY INC. ,4002 Hill St U.S. Virgin Is St 00801

      CLMS - 2007/02/00134. It had a check for $3,950 and requested immediate deposit and said I had to pay $2,645 in processing fees to the same company that had my money! Just so they could release it to me! This letter follows the above example just like a form letter.

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      frank 10 years ago

      I recieved the same check today and man i wanted to cash that puppy!

      But noooo my wouldnt let me until we checked it out and thanks to you people im $25.00 richer. My says that i shouldnt be so trusting . Well :( man I wanted that money bad! It's to bad there are so many dishonest people on this planet. Anyway EMPIRE E-ONLINE LOTTERY INC. is the name on my letter that came with my check $3950.00 check I was going to go shoping with. lol

      Frank in Santa Maria Calif.

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      Linda 10 years ago

      I like Breonnia also recieved a check from Empire E-Online Lottery and I know about paying taxes so I knew Something wasnt right and i just contacted Publisher Clearing House to let the know that there is a scam out there using their company name along with others I am filing a complaint with the Postal Inspector and because I looked up the names thats how I found this and just like Chucks the body of the letter is almost the same and the check amount is 3950 instead of 2950 but the logo on the letter is the same and so is the names on the bottom

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      Breonnia Osborne 10 years ago

      I got a check from EMPIRE E-ONLINE LOTTERY INC. I was so happy that I had won some money. I knew that something had to be wrong with it but I didn't think twice to put it in my bank account. I called my bank to day asking where is my money and they told me that the bank the check was from didn;t want to pay up. I needed the money and I wanted to know what was going on so I started to look up thngs on the internet. That is when I fount this web site. I am happy tht I wasn't abolw to cash the check or I would be in more troubles then ever. What can we do about these people

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Marsha, Ginger,

      Thanks for your comments.

      I have added a links module to this hub with links I used to research the scam. You might find some of them useful in checking out future scams. The abundance of links also illustrate the ease with which a person using a Google search can research suspecious offers.

      These scams are just newer versions of scams that have been going on since ancient times. The problem with catching the people behind the scams is that they come into an area, work it for a short time and disappear (Mark Twain, in the "Adventures of Huckelberry Finn", gives a description of these people in the form of the two characters Huck and Jim meet on their trip down the Mississippi. In this case the townspeople caught on to them in time and tarred and feathered them before running them out of town on a rail). The best advice law enforcement authorities give is to be aware that these exist and be suspecious of any deal that looks too good to be true - it usually is!

      As far as doing something about them, it is very difficult. You can report them to the Postal Inspector's division of the Post Office (using the U.S. Mail for these scams is a violation of Federal Law) and you can report them to local law enforcement. However, given the multiple jurisdictions the scam operators run the scams from and the fact that they move in fast, snare a few people and disappear makes it very difficult to catch them. Realistically, this operation was probably based in Gribaltar with the telephone contact in Nova Scotia - that is two different foreign countries over which the local police in Tucson have no control. The checks were stolen in Missouri and the letters probably mailed from there but, before the letters were received, I am certain that the people mailing them had left the U.S. This makes it very difficult to do anything about this. By the time someone reported them and the local police began investigating and contacting police in the other countries, the scam was over and the criminals had taken the money they collected and fled to another country. When they do get caught, it is usually for another crime. Authorities can then prosecute them for this crime as well (or use this crime for a plea bargain deal in exchange for information on other crimes) - however the money taken in the scam is long gone, leaving any victims uncompensated.

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      Marsha 10 years ago

      Has anyone received a check from Green Light Financial Trust for a similar amount? This time it is a total of $58,000 won, but same type of depositing method and $2,950 check. I'm one out of six that have won a 348,000 online lottery. yea right! Bank is legite but this is definitely to good to be true. He said when I entered the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstake's they had an option to enter into other online lotteries and if I clicked yes then I was automatically entered in to their lottery. I emailed PCH about this company because they say they sponsor them. Haven't heard back from PCH. The man I talked with had a very strong accent. He said this is no scam . . . we are not asking for any bank numbers, etc. from you. They are also giving until Feb. 16 to deposit the check. I'm sending the info. to the Postal Inspection folks. Here is their website to file a complaint.

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      Ginger 10 years ago

      February 5,2007 - Just got it in the mail tonight and my boyfriend looked it up on the computer and we found your report. Looked at Better Business Bureau and they did not have anything on this. It was the 3rd Paragraph my boyfriend looked at and looked up, there you had the same lettler and check. In anyway can you tell us what we can do about this?

      Thank You, Ginger

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      deborah yates 10 years ago

      Yes, I too received this scam, and yes, I thought about depositing this $2950.00 check in my account then wait to see if the check cleared. Something about the letter and method of payment did not seem right to me so I went to Gold Crest Distributing LLC on the web. This company is a high profile nature item distributor. Party Bingo Lottery Inc is not found anywhere on the web. Warning!!! always do your research first. Thanks Chuck for posting this sight.

    • Leslie Poston profile image

      Leslie Poston 10 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      That is screwy! Glad you didn't get sucked in.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Thanks Jason for the comment. As long as there are people who will fall for the scam, the scam artists will keep trying.

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      Jason 10 years ago

      Just an additonal note; these people have apparently branched out and are using other company names and other company's stolen checks to perpetuate their scam. The letter head and the bulk of the letter remains the same, however.

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      TFW 10 years ago

      Well done my dear Inspector Clouseau. Dr's Casady & Hallich would be very proud of your effort. I have not received my ltr of temptation yet, but thanks for the warning.

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      beth teller 10 years ago

      well let me tell you I got something in the mail today and called and spoke to a nice man and actually said to him this isn't a scam right? hahah not like they would tell me right? well the check says cashiers check and has the safetly watermark so I am so upset and thought how could this be a scam when I have a cashiers check in front of me??? I will take it to my bank as well but am sure it is too good to be true. I am so sad because me and my husband (we are newlyweds) he is overseas fighting the war and we would have been very happy to have $47,010 right now. I am actually in tears because of soemones heartless scam.

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      JWV 10 years ago

      Well, damnmy! - but I really knew it was to good to be true. I took the check to the bank and had the assistant manager verify the funds. Done. But now I am waiting: not withdrawing any of the monies represented on the recieved check.

      Others should know. The authors of this scam letter have "cleaned up" and corrected their grammatical and "sentence running language.

      Thanks for the info.


    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      I was tempted to deposit it and even considered putting it in the checking account at the commercial bank near our home where we have our safe deposit box and where the bank required us to open an account in order to have the box. There is no minimum balance on the account and no service chages and I was tempted to withdraw all but a dollar and then deposit the check so if there was any way the scamers could get at the account all they could steal of mine would be $1. But I was fairly certain that the check would eventually be returned NSF and that I would be charged a fee for depositing such a check (these fees to the account holder at the receiving bank can run as high as $50). It was the fear of the $50 fee that made me investigate further.

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      James Paterson 10 years ago from Scotland

      To be honest chuck i would probably have cashed the cheque,but wouldn't have contacted the number,and the police would be at my door now lol.....jimmy

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