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Beware of bogus lottery check

by Chris Nagus

KMOV.com

Posted on November 1, 2010 at 10:47 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 2 at 3:39 PM

(KMOV) -- If you received a check for $4,498, would you cash it? A 92-year-old Shrewsbury woman received one, but didn't take the bait. News 4 is investigating a bogus check that showed up in Evelyn White's mailbox.

The check is from an organization calling itself Five Star Financial Services UK. White says she received a letter with the check saying she won a $450,000 British lottery. The letter told White she needed to pay a government service tax since she is not a British citizen. The letter asks White to pay the tax via MONEYGRAM or Western Union, then keep the $4,498 check to cover the expense.

The letter from Five Star Financial Services lists a phone number out of British Columbia, Canada. The woman who answered the phone told News 4 it is a legitimate lottery, but then hung up the phone when we requested more information about the check sent to Evelyn White.

The check is from Frost Bank in Texas. A Frost Bank representative confirms the check is a fraud and issued the statement below:

"This is the way crooks have operated for years, affecting people of all ages and demographics and almost every bank. All consumers should stay alert, as fraudsters can make the scam look real by using counterfeit or altered checks."

If someone tells you you've won a large sum of money, take the letter and check to your local bank or law enforcement agency and ask for their opinion. A valid lottery or sweepstakes will NEVER ask you to send money upfront.

In a case like this, the fake-lottery recipient is told to wire funds to cover the taxes on the winnings – and that money is sent before the consumer finds out the winner's check is bad.
 

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