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Lotto scam taken one step further

March 31st, 2007 at 12:50 am

Imagine my surprise tonight when I get home, open my mail (snail mail, not email) and find a check for $4,485.46!!!!! Woohoo... I won!!!!

Wait... What? I never entered the Australian Lottery. Oh, and what is this saying:

In accordance with our disbursement policy, your winnings have been forwarded to the clearing institution authorized to release your funds. You claim number is assigned to BENCOOLEN FINANCIAL INC, out North America affiliate. You funds are insured for security reason and will be released to you after the confirmation protocol. You'll not be asked to provide any personal information or use of your personal funds to pay fees associated with this award.

To expedite the process, a check of $4,485.46 deducted from your winnings is hereby enclosed to enable you pay the non-resident fees and taxes totaling $2850.25. Please contact your claim Assessment Agent, Mrs. Debbie Danda at 1-289-888-1255. She will handle all matters relating to your award and the release of your funds. PLEASE CALL IMMEDIATELY


The part that sort of ticked me...

Be further advised that you should not attempt to use or cash this check until you have contacted the Agent above tio validate the check and activate your claim no later than 5 business days upon receipt of this final notification


So what do you say?? Should I call Mrs. Debbie???

====== Edit 4/07/07 =====
I just went through that letter again (Yes, I still have it!). The very bottom contains the following text:
INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN MUST BE KEPT IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENCE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 305 OF THE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY COMMISSION RULES. ANY DISCLOSURE OF THIS NOTIFICATION IN PART OR WHOLE TO ANY PARTY NOT SPECIFICALLY NAMED HEREIN WILL RESULT IN CANCELLATION OF AWARD


I guess I just forfeited my award... aawww!

16 Responses to “Lotto scam taken one step further”

  1. Thrifty Ray Says:

    ummm...sure if you want a long distance bill that will result in a nice loss if you negotiate the check!!! lol.

    They are creative, if nothing else, in their endeavor to rip innocent folks off!

    You are wise to see this as the scam it is!

  2. Lau Says:

    Ray - I am doing this hoping to prevent someone who might not know any better that this is a scam... Too many people are getting very hurt with these and if I can help one person, I'll be happy.

    The check looks very real on top of it all.

    I'm almost curious enough to call this number and see what they try to get out of me.

  3. Chuck Says:

    I got as well. I scanned all over the net but didn't see any others.

    What were they trying to get?

  4. Lau Says:

    Chuck - most likely you would have been asked for an account number where they could have "transfered the money"... Problem is you would end up with a nice big debit instead of a credit

  5. zoe Says:

    I just called that number withour researching... now I am trying to get a hold of my cellular company in a panic..
    Do you think it was one of those things where you call them and they charge your phone thousands of dollars?????

  6. Lau Says:

    Zoe - what did they ask you and what info did you give them?

  7. Derek Says:

    Hey got this crap too. I called the number just to humor myself and they tried to make it sound so real. They said just cash the check at your bank and send they money to A guy called Tom Smith in North Bay, Canada I laughed and hung up the phone. They did Ask me what bank I used and I told Them a check cashing service the person on the phone said you must use your bank.

  8. Jennifer Says:

    i got that letter yesterday. called, someone did answer and gave me all these strange instructions on how to send them the "fees". you have to go to money gram or a western union, and send them to a guy named "Peter". no last name mind you, to 707 main st. north bay, canada M3T6W9. then you call with the receipt number and they send you the rest of the money. riigghhtt!!! my check was from SunTrust bank, went to their site, sure enough a warning symbol with a link saying "FRAUD ALERT", went there and there was a letter, with a check like this one, saying that they are not responsible for this if you do deposit it (oh ya, no cashing allowed by any bank)and you will be the one that has to repay the bank out of your money. so yes, a total scam as i suspected. however i am sending them the $2380.80... in monopoly money! (if you are suspicious of any kind of scam, enial, old wives tail, anything www.snopes.com is a site where you look and it will tell you if it is false/true it was on there as well as false!) they should be ashamed of themselves.

  9. Lau Says:

    Jennifer - Monopoly money?? That's awesome! :-D
    I'd like to see the reaction of the person who opens that big envelope.

    Let me know if you hear anything back from them!

  10. J. Says:

    I received a real looking check today for 3,980.00. Thanks for the info. on here now I now It is a scam..Thinking about reporting this to my local police.

  11. Davester Says:

    I got the same scam: Bencoolen Financial Inc, an Affiliation of Australians Lottery Game Association. gave me a check for 4950.24, asked for a money order of 2980$ for taxes on my 200,000$ winnings (note - this is less than 2% tax - excellent return from the auzzie government!

    Apparently, the way this works is that the check is basically stolen from the bank, in my case, Mellon Trust of New England. Cashing the check might work but when the bank discovers the mistake you are responsible for returning the money. By that point you have already sent a nonrecoverable amount to the scammers in the form of a money order, which they require within 5 business days.

    Thanks for collecting info on this scam - it looks very tempting at first glance and it is good to find someone talking about it.

  12. Richard Says:

    So where can we report the Fraud jerks? I got this damn letter to and i can imagine an elderly person falling victim to this. I want to get this to the authorities. I think I'm stopping by Bank Of America to see what these guys will do.

  13. Lau Says:

    @Richard: You can go on the FTC website (ftc.gov) and searched for how to report these. I did a quick search and came up with a Consumer Alert containing phone number and url (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/intlalrt.pdf)
    "To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261."

    Hopes this helps.

  14. Hilary Sylvester Says:

    I just got the same letter. Of course it's too good to be true...sencond law of thermodynamics.."no such thing as a free lunch"!
    I went on the net and of course saw all kinds of posts that it is a scam. I just called the name of the bank (toll free) on the check which was Mellon Trust of New England to report that their name was being used in a scam. They were happy that I reported it to them.
    Let's bring the scammers down!!!!!!!

  15. Lau Says:

    Hilary, good for you! You took a great step in letting the bank know their name was being used in a fraudulent activity.

  16. Sarah Says:

    Well, I never thought that I would have been involved with a scam like this, but here we go! I started laughing when I got the letters (yes, two letter came in) today. My boyfriend and I started doing some research and I came across this site. I can't believe that these people do this. So pathetic!!!

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