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Lottery News and Stories

Fake Checks Part of Mail Scam

Friday, April 28, 2006 posted 01:04 PM EDT

This scam is different than others, because the letter people get in the mail includes a very real looking check, but police warn: Don't be fooled.

“I thought it would be nice to have $450,000,” said Collette Foster, who received scam letter.

Like many, Foster would love to have some extra cash. That's why she got excited when she got a letter (shown above) from something called the Strike Five Mega Lotto.

The letter said she had won a part of a shared $50-million jackpot.

“We could do whatever we wanted. Have a nest egg to help our children, grandchildren, whatever,” she said.

As Collette and her husband read on, they saw that they would need to pay a processing fee of $3,400, but there was, what appeared to be, a check they could deposit to cover the payment.

“It really looks like a cashier check,” Amanda Sluss with Metro Police said.

Although the check looked legitimate, they were suspicious and called police.

Law enforcement officials said this is a nationwide scam.

“What happens is, by the time they cash the check, they've received and it clears the bank and its determined not to be legitimate, they're out $3,400,” Sluss said.

Police said it's important to be wary of letters that come out of the blue, saying you're a big winner, but at the same time, asking for money.

“Anytime you are directed to pay for something, you can pretty much guarantee it's a scam,” Sluss said.

Police said in this case, the bank's name on the check is actually a real bank in Hawaii, but the check itself is a fake. The phone number on the letter Collette received has been traced back to Canada.

Police said Collette did the right thing by not sending any money and calling police.

If you think you've been the victim of a scam like this, call Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME or call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. That number is 1-800-FRAUD- IS.

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