Skip to content

Scam artists keeping busy

It seems that Internet scams are becoming commonplace, as much so as junk mail. But would-be thieves are still using the traditional postal service at an increasing rate, too.

One Farmington woman recently received what she suspected as a scam in the mail. A check with the police department confirmed her suspicions … the concerned party who sent the letter would not answer the phone and had a bogus address.

While there are several, dozens if not hundreds, of variations of mail and e-mail money scams out there, the police are warning to be aware of the latest to hit the area. Chances are if one local person received the hoax it probably was mailed to others as well.

This scam comes from &#8220Sysco Quebec” with an address given of Montreal, Quebec. A check in the amount of $2,865.20 was made out to a Farmington woman. There was also a letter inside from the &#8220Sweepstakes Clearing Commission House” in &#8220Ottowa, Ontario”.

The letter stated the check was to be used to pay a &#8220clearance/processing” fee, and once the fee was paid the recipient would receive her full winnings of $100,000.

Police records show the woman brought the letter and computer-generated check to the police department. She said she had never received any other correspondence from the &#8220business” and had no reason to believe the check and offer was legitimate.

In the accompanying letter, the &#8220sender” stated &#8220After numerous attempts to reach you by phone had failed we decided to write and inform you about the release of the American Sweepstakes Prize pool held of the 14th of November 2005.

&#8220Due to the mix up of names, the results were released on November 21, 2005. Your ticket number … with the serial code … drew the lucky number of … Attached to your name which consequently won the lottery.”

The letter went on to state &#8220Your clearance/processing fee is calculated based on the winning and is required by the federal and international law a total of $2,710.25. These fees will be entirely covered by the Sweepstakes Clearing Commission House. You will find your check enclosed for the amount of $2,865.20, this check covers insurance, handling, duty and taxes fees as well.

&#8220According to federal and international laws it is strictly forbidden to use this money for any other reason than paying your clearing/processing fees. Once these fees are paid in full you will receive your winning payment by certified check within two business days.”

A phone number was given for a &#8220claim office,” but efforts to reach the number by members of the police department went unanswered.

The check was listed on an account of Sysco Quebec, payable through the &#8220TD Bank, 31 West 52nd Street, New York, NY.

Police say anyone receiving the same scam, or anything they suspect is a scam, should contact the Farmington Police Department at 756-6686.

Leave a Comment