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Lottery scam imitates popular sweepstakes

Oct 21, 2008, 9:57 am

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The fake lottery scam that has bilked residents of the Hudson Valley and elsewhere out of thousands of dollars, has now been expanded to capitalize on the name and reputation of Publishers Clearing House.

Typically a person receives a letter telling him or her that they have won a multi-million dollar lottery, but first they must cash an enclosed check and send a money-gram for that amount back to the company. Once an unsuspecting person deposits the check, buys a money-gram and mails it back, they learn the check was a fake and they are out that amount.

The company is usually in Canada or Jamaica.

The con artists have now extended their scam to purport that they are from Publishers Clearing House. One Lake Carmel women received what Putnam County Sheriff Donald Smith said was an "authentic looking letter" and a fraudulent check for $5,340.

According to Debra Wright of Publishers Clearing House, the documents and checks appeared so real that even bank teller may be fooled. But, she said Publishers Clearing House never requires payment to claim a prize.

Sheriff Smith urges anyone who may receive a prize notification with instructions to cash a check and mail cash back not to complete the transaction and contact his office at 845-225-4300.

Mid-Hudson News

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2 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by KY Floyd.
Page 1 of 1

United States
Member #10720
January 23, 2005
933 Posts
Posted: October 22, 2008, 8:36 pm - IP Logged

MoneyGrams have to go through a service where the person fills out a form of where it's going and how much and their other information... why not have every one of these agents required to make sure the person isn't responding to a scam? It would be for their own protection. Or just have it against the law to use MoneyGram to send money for any gambling purpose!!!

Maybe if they do that I won't have to wait in line behind all these MoneyGrammers waiting to play my Pick-Its! It takes less than a minute to run my Numbers and about 5 hours to arrange a MoneyGram!

    KY Floyd's avatar - lysol avatar.jpg
    United States
    Member #23834
    October 16, 2005
    4250 Posts
    Posted: October 24, 2008, 1:22 am - IP Logged

    Yeah, that's exactly what we need. There are far too few laws that protect us from our own stupidity, and far too few laws that have other people prying into our lives.