Residents should be on lookout for lottery scam
A number of local residents have been contacted, and in some cases victimized, by an apparent lottery scam, with one resident reporting the problem to Grass Valley police Monday.
“Customers are getting slammed,” said Michael Behn, senior vice-president of the Grass Valley Citizens Bank of Northern California.
Six to eight Citizens Bank customers have each lost several thousand dollars through the scam by sending money to a bogus lotto company in the hope of reaping the larger reward it promised, Behn said.
Jim Kiser of Lake Wildwood received one of the bogus checks, sent to him in an envelope with a Canadian stamp, with a letter telling him he had been randomly selected as a winner and that he should deposit the $1,895 check and return $1770 to the lotto company in order to receive his full prize of $65,000.
Kiser didn’t follow the letter’s instructions because he “didn’t feel it was a good check” and had “heard the stories,” he said.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it is,” said Behn, adding he had contacted local police regarding the problem.
“It’s impossible to deal with this because it’s a fraudulent check sent from a foreign country,” said Capt. Dave Remillard of the Grass Valley Police Department, adding most of the recent lotto scam checks have been mailed from Canada or Ireland. The problem of these or similar Internet scams are “so prolific” that most law enforcement agencies can’t take any recourse against them, he said.
“The checks look real,” said Remillard, adding, however, that residents should be wary of letters telling them they won a lottery they never entered and requesting money in advance to gain the prize.
To contact staff writer Josh Singer, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4234.
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