A fake lottery letter you might receive, promising you millions.
(Click to enlarge. Text version is below.)
Another lottery scam has resurfaced, this time in New York.
People are receiving letters which say they’ve won hundreds of thousands of dollars from a USA Mega lottery drawing. (This time, a company called Alpha Financial Services of Canada in Nova Scotia will pay the winners.)
Also included in the letter is a check for thousands of dollars. The letter says to call an agent to start the claims process and activate the check, which will require the letter’s recipient to pay thousands of dollars of their own money.
Here’s a sample check from an earlier scam:
You can put this check in the bank.
But you can't take the money back out.
The check is counterfeit, of course.
(Click to enlarge.)
The check is printed on paper that looks just like a real check. The scam tells you to put the check in your bank. You can deposit the check, and the money will seem to appear in your account. But when the bank tries to find funds for the check, they'll find out the check is a forgery.
And did you already withdraw some money from your account to send to the lottery company? Maybe to pay "taxes" or "fees" on the check?
Now look closely. Did you spot the obvious clue that the check is fake?
Here’s the entire text of the letter shown above. Again, there are some clues that this letter is fake. Can you find them?
(USA MEGA LOTTERY LOGO)
2240 W. SAHARA AVENUE SUITE 300, LAS VEGAS, NV 89108
RE: CASH PAYOUT / FINAL NOTICE
File number: UDI 04-856
Dear (YOUR NAME HERE)
We are pleased to inform you of the announcement today, March 24th 2006 winner of the AMERICAN MECA MILLIONS JACKPOT. Entry UBM-0405 was attached to your name and drew the lucky numbers 18-22-33-34-42+16 and as a result won in category "A". You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payment of US $1,300,000.00 (ONE MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS)
Since this is the final notice, all prize money must he claimed no later than April 10th 2006, any claim not made before this date will be returned to the AMERICAN MEGA MILLION JACKPOT. Your prize has been insured in its total value in your name and will be transferred when all requirements are met. This is mandatory and is meant to satisfy all official laws and protocols as mandated by the American Government regulations. Please note that there can be no deductions from the prize money as it has been insured to its full value.
Enclosed is a check of a portion of your winnings to help you pay legal, insurance, or processing fees that you may encounter. Please call one of our agents immediately after receiving this document to initiate your claim process and activate your check.
www.AmericanInternationalLotteryCorporation.com / www.USAMega.com
BOB KAMPBRIDGE / SUSAN SMITH
GUARANTEED SAFE AND SECURE, American International, is backed by the full authority and support of the American Government. Your winnings will be deposited in an escrow account in one of America’s largest federally charted banks. PLEASE help us by fulfilling all requirements accordingly as all procedures are confidential and are meant to protect our clients. In order to avoid cases of misappropriation and mishandling of prize monies, we advise you to please keep process confidential until you have received your winnings and it’s safe in your hands. If you have not received a phone call from one of our personnel it is because our agents could not reach you, please call the number listed above.
Congratulations once again and thank you for being part of our program.
(BAR CODE 001234567895)
Exec. V-P, Operations
The clues to the scam:
The check misspells the name of the bank as “Community Developement Bank.” (Instead of “Community Development Bank.”)
In the letter, this sentence says “In order to avoid cases of misappropriation and mishandling of prize monies, we advise you to please keep process confidential until you have received your winnings and it’s safe in your hands.” The grammar is a bit off, since the sentence should say “to please keep this process confidential.”
Also, the bar code attached to the letter is “001234567895,” which contains the generic string of numbers “123456789,” probably indicating that it is not a real bar code.
But most interesting, in its haste to congratulate you, the letter misspells the word congratulations as “CONGRADULATIONS!”
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