This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I am the Luckiest Man on the Planet (Part 2)

(image found through cashunclaimed)

Part one can be found here.

I received this letter from Canada without a return address. I'm thinking what the fricken sassa frassa but decided to open it. The first thing I see is a check. What? It looked legit. It was from Bank of America for $3,875.

Here's some of what the letter with the check said. It's times like this I wish I had a scanner.
Promotions Manager
Prize and Award Presentation
Dominion Investment Securities Inc.
77 King St. W Toronto Ont. M5W 1P9 Canada



We are pleased to inform you that you are one of the declared winners of the SHOPPERS SWEEPSTAKE LOTTERY conducted in North America....

We have made many unsuccessful attempts to contact you regarding this winning. You are therefore entitled to the sum of $125,000.00 US DOLLARS. This is from total prize money of $3 MILLION US DOLLARS that was shared and presented among the other 24 declared winners. Please note that all the participants were selected through a random computer ballot system drawn from over 50,000 names in [the] UNITED STATES, CANADA AND UNITED KINGDOM....

To expediate the processing enclosed is the check of $3,875.00 US dollars which has been deducted from your winning. The sole purpose of this check is for the payment of applicable Government taxes on your big winnings. Government taxes cannot be deducted from the winning amount because of the insurance policy coverage. The tax amount is $2,875.00 US DOLLARS... to be paid directly to the tax agent.

Please do not attempt to use this check until you call. We urge you to keep this winning CONFIDENTIAL until your claim has been processed and your cash remitted to you as this is part of our security protocol and to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by non participants taking advantage of this program....

(Claim Agent) MR. GEORGE ATWELL, 1-905-781-8865


Yours Truly

Bryan Mcloud (Promotion Manager)
I could have used that money. I definitely got a few goose bumps when I first saw the check. Then after reading the letter, I was like ugh, this can't be legit. Why is the tax amount so low? Why don't I remember entering this sweepstake? I've never bought anything through the internet. Why can't they pay the taxes? Because of an insurance policy coverage? That doesn't make any sense. Who is this tax agent they speak of? That wouldn't be someone on their own payroll, would it? They want this to be kept hushed due to their security protocol? I think they don't want people discussing this with family and friends who will splash cold water on their faces and say, "Snap out of it!"

(image found through Celluloid Soul Mates)

Then I went to the googler and found people saying this is a scam. Apparently if you try to cash the check, you won't get any funds from it. They probably finish the job over the phone by imploring folks there is a time deadline to get the rest of the prize. They are probably looking for folks with well over the money they are asking for who will send them the $2,875 while expecting the check to eventually clear, which it never does.

I also see that others have the same claim number I was given. Thus, I conclude they are targeting folks who will be so taken in with the idea of receiving big money, that they won't look into seeing whether this is legit or not. It was pretty crafty of them to come up with a name that sounds like a real banking institution.

What I don't understand is that this has been going on for a while. Why are these people still able to do this? Why haven't they been charged with fraud? Sure, I'll feel like a loser if this turns out to be legit, and I just threw away 125 grand because I didn't believe it. Yet I doubt that will happen. Such fraud is despicable. Why aren't the Canadian authorities putting an end to this? I feel sorry for anyone who has thrown away over two thousand dollars to these confidence men. Many could be elderly folks looking for funds to help with health care or to make the last chapters of their lives easier. Someone needs to put a stop to this.


Larry said...

What is amazing to me is how you for even a second thought it was legit. Anyone with 1/10 of a brain knows these are scams!

socrates said...

It's human nature to believe what's good for us. You make a good point, as it's often said denial isn't a river in Egypt. Nonetheless, the check they sent looks very real.

It's either completely bogus, or somehow if the check is cashed, the money is sent to them. I don't know how that would be possible. It seems to me the check is most likely 100% fake. Either way, I don't understand how the people behind this are able to continue without being charged with fraud.

Larry said...

"..the check they sent looks very real."

Well, I think a check printed on college rule notebook paper or construction paper would be a dead giveaway.

"I don't understand how the people behind this are able to continue without being charged with fraud."

Because they are near impossible to trace.

Haven't you ever heard of the saying, "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is?"

People who want something bad enough have a way to make something look very real to suck in believers. [Hint...hint...9/11]

socrates said...

You're sounding very reasonable and polite in this thread. That is a good thing.

I don't get how they are so tough to trace. I mean, there must be an address where the money from victims is sent.

This one seems to have been going on for quite a while.

I have heard that saying. One of the benefits of the internet is for a situation like this, it's very easy to hit a search engine, type in some words from the letter, and immediately find websites covering it.

Even if I had gone the extra step of calling them, I would have never sent them a dime without the check first clearing. That's another thing. They do have a phone number. That should make them very easy to trace.

The scam must work because of two conditions being met.

1) Those duped have funds in their accounts beyond the size of the fake check. They are finally hooked in by the scammers through the phone conversation.

2) Law enforcement is unaware of the scam. By the time it is known, the operation has raked in a pile of dough and relocated.

#2 is what I'd like to know more about. I think #1 is obvious.

Larry said...

"That's another thing. They do have a phone number. That should make them very easy to trace."

Not if the phone # is from a tracphone (pre-paid) that can be bought at Wal-Mart for $20.

Anonymous said...

Jim belushi is the luckiest man alive.

socrates said...

Speaking of bad actors/comics who have hit rough times, Dan Ackroyd keeps showing up on the radio doing liquor ads. Oops, I spoke too fast. It's been announced Dan will be acting in Ghostbusters III. That'll be a tough one to get a ticket to. Not. We lose John Belushi and Andy Kaufman young, yet these other guys go on and on and on. Not that I'm wishing them any harm. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

got my check for 3 grand today! mapquest shows the TD bank as a parking lot. TD Bank says no such bank address. Letter was from Green Light Securities. Brian McCloud....Sad to think there those out there without internet access to google who will fall victim to this...