My wife is mentally ill (not kidding) and is no good with money or with avoiding scams. She got a letter and check for $2980 last week, cashed the check, and spent all the money. The check "cleared", so she was able to spend the money.
She showed me the letter today. I immediately recognized it as the fraud that it is. I happen to be familiar with this site and was able to search out this thread, which verifies my suspicions. Unfortunately, I will have to shell out $3000 from my retirement account to cover my wife's poor judgement, and plan to go to her bank on Tuesday to discuss the scam, then settle the account owed.
I am really mad as this scam and the wife's mental illness are robbing me of the money I work so hard for.
Here's the text of the letter, including their spelling and grammatical errors:
(letterhead)Deltec Financial & Trust Services
Deltec House, Lyford Cay, P.O. Box N-3229 Nassau, Bahamas
Sponsor: Readers Digest, Publishers Clearing House, Sweepstakes, Lotto
Your ref :X9999
SUBJECT: AWARD CLAIM FINAL NOTIFICATION
Some people have good things happen to them by luck or by chance. But the reason for your good fortune is clear you have been an exceptional lucky sweepstake winner. That is why we are delighted to inform you through this letter that our network system shows you as the lucky winner of unclaimed prize money in the amount of $62,980 USD (Sixty Two Thousand Nine Hundred Eighty Dollars). The system indicated that you won the prize on December 14th, 2006 sweepstakes third category draw.
All participants were selected through a comperize ballot system drawn from reader's digest, publisher's clearing house, mailing addresses, computer games, and sweepstakes with data base from Australia, new Zealand, Europe, North and South America, South Africa, and Asia as part of our International Promotions Program (IPP), which is conducted annually. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
It is also part of our job to bring to your notice, the existence of an international law guiding the fair personal collection of cash prizes. This Internatinal law ensures that a winner pays a processing fee before the funds are released. The same Law prevents you from paying with your personal money but from your winning money; the first installment of $2980 USD should be used for the payment of the processing fee.
Be advised that your Reference Number must be kept confidential
until your claim is completed. This is to avoid double claiming which might disqualify you.
Your fundsa re now deposited with us and insured in your name. Please find enclosed a cashier's check in the amount of $2,980 USD cashable only by you. You shall be advised by your claims agent on how much to be withdrawn and sent to the processing office to finalize your claims. The balance of $60,000 will be sent to you via a courier company of choice after your payment is confirmed.
Please take advantage of this golden opportunity by contacting your claims agent(s) Mr. Pinson Berdu or Mrs. Victoria Stanton at 1-778-xxx-xxxx; Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-3pm EST, upon receipt of this notification.
Please note that all unclaimed prize money will be donated to a charity organization.
Once again congratulations from all our staff!
Weston Pratt Snr.
Director Claims & Credit Control
I checked the area code and it is in Vancouver, BC. The address in the letterhead is real, and there is a Deltec, but it is actually Deltec Bank and Trust Limited
, a legitimate bank in the Bahamas at the address quoted. These alone tipped me off that this was a fraud. The "sponsor list" is hopelessly vague after naming the big sweepstakes companies. "Sweepstakes"? "Lotto"? c'mon.
Thankfully, my wife says she never contacted the people named on the letter. Even so, she'll also need a new bank account just for safety's sake.