“You have won the sum of US $250,000.00. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!”
Yea! I can do so much with that mon…wait, what? I won all of this money from a contest that I didn’t enter? I didn’t sign up for anything, and you’re just gonna give me this money?
Be aware that this “claim your award” letter scam has been reported in our area. Y’all. Let’s keep it simple: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You supposedly just won a whole bunch of money from a contest you didn’t enter, they send a fraudulent but “official-looking” check with instructions on how to collect your “big winnings”, and all you have to do is wire them $2,000 of YOUR OWN MONEY after you deposit their fraudulent check into your bank. DON’T FALL FOR THIS SCAM! Tell everyone you know, especially our seniors.
After sending legitimate money, you try to deposit or cash the check or money order only to determine it’s counterfeit. You end up losing the money you sent and possibly owing the bank or credit union money from the fraudulent transaction.
Any written request, with no context, asking for money in exchange for a check or money order is likely a scam. The most important point to remember is that there is no legitimate reason any of these situations would require your response. A good rule of thumb: If you’re unsure, don’t send anything. It’s better to be safe than lose your money for good.
Check scams come in many forms, but they always include someone giving you a realistic check or money order and asking you to wire money elsewhere: potentially, even to a place or person you recognize.
If you receive something suspicious like this in the mail, you can contact the USPS Postal Inspector Service: https://www.uspis.gov/report . You can also call Dispatch at 205-822-5300.
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Officer Brian Hale, Public Information Officer