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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 15:29 EDT

Too Good to Be True

June 18, 2008

By Kathy Parker, Daily Times, Pryor, Okla.

Jun. 18–Sandra Kilgore of Pryor knows a scam when she sees one.

A letter arrived at her home from Global Financial along with a $4,000 check. The letter said the check was to pay taxes on $450,000 Kilgore and her husband had won in a sweepstakes held by Gables Construction of Atlanta, Ga.

“I called the number and someone said call back when the check was deposited,” Kilgore said.

This is a scam to get your bank account number. The check is no good, just a way to get to your money.

An Internet search shows there is a reputable Gables Construction in Rome, Ga., and many reputable businesses which are handled by Global Financial. The Better Business Bureau said scam artists often misuse the names of recognizable, well known companies to run their cons.

“We were supposed to deposit the $4,000 check for taxes then call a guy in Canada,” Kilgore said. “There’s no telling how many people get this and how many people do it,” Kilgore said.

According to the United States Postal Inspectors’ Web site: Legitimate sweepstakes are fun and free. They specify that no purchase is needed to win and buying a product will not increase your chances of winning. You never have to pay to collect a prize. You do not have to pay to enter a sweepstakes or collect a prize. If you’re asked to pay, the sweepstakes is a scam.

In this case, the scammers make it seem as if they are making the “payment” necessary to collect a large prize, but this is no different than asking you to pay. This is only a method to steal your money.

If you receive what you believe to be a mail fraud, take it to your local post office or report fraud complaints to the fraud complaint hotline at: 1-800-372-8347 or visit the Postal Inspection Service Web site at www.usps.com/postalinspectors.

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Copyright (c) 2008, Daily Times, Pryor, Okla.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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