International Award Claim / SCAM
People BEWARE! I rcvd a letter from the International Award claim dept. dated 2/27/2009 with a claim number. The check was in the amount of $3955.00.
The letter states that this check is to help cover the cost of taxes on the $55, 500.00 that I actually won ... taxes on that amount (according to the letter) is $2900.00 (how nice they included $1000.00 extra) The letter states that I am supposed to send this amount via western union or moneygram.
This check looks like an actual check, the company listed on the top left, is an actual company (I called them) and they're local to me, STL MO. The bank that this check is written on is also legit Southwest Bank again STL MO. It also has the correct spelling of my name (which is not easy to do) in the 'pay to the order' line.
The letter goes on to say 'please do not attempt to cash this check until you have spoken with Mr. Dan Gayford, the claim agent.' I also googled Mr Dan Gayford, he does exist and has a facebook page.
The phone number listed in the letter for Mr. Dan Gayford is [protected]. I called it. A guy with a heavy accent answered the phone and it sounded hollow as if he were in a bathroom or something, I asked for Mr. Gayford, the man said he was out of the office, could he take a message. I told him no, I would call back later. (my phone automatically blocks my number from people that are not on my contacts list) so I knew he wouldn't have my number.
That is just the letter that I rcvd. on March 3, 2009 I rcvd a phone call ON MY CELL PHONE, from Patrick Ward from the International Awards Department to inform me that I was the lucky winner of 2.5 million dollars and that the prize patrol van would be at my door within an hour and fifteen minutes, he just had to ask me a couple of questions to verify he had the right place. (keep in mind, I knew when I picked up the phone that this is a scam)
The list of questions are as follows:
Am I an American Citizen with a SSN, I said yes ( he didn't ask for the number)
Do I have a passport, NO
Do I have a valid drivers lic, yes
Am I married or single, when I replied 'single' he asked again 'you are single?' I still said yes.
Then he informed me that I needed to run to the closest Moneygram or Western Union place and wire 150.00 to 'his office manager' even gave me her name, in Jamaica, WI. Then he asked how close was I to the moneygram location. I told him 5 minutes. He said he would call me back in 15.
He called back, I didn't answer.
Then next day, I get a call from the same 876 area code but this time it's a different number and the guy says his name is Roger something I couldn't understand, and he was wanting to know if I had sent the 599.00 via moneygram yet. I said ' boy, inflation over night huh?' he just kept right on talking...yadayada... I said NO, I am an AMERICAN citizen with a valid ssn, I was not born yesterday, I'm not sending you money!!! and guess what he did, , , , kept right on talking... so I thought, OK this guy wants to play, let's play... He finally got around to asking me a second time if I was on my way to wire the $599.00 I said yep, I sure am... He also asked how long it would take me to get to the moneygram station, I told him 5 minutes...he said he would call back.
At this point I put my phone down, went to use the bathroom, and in the 60sec it took me to pee, he had called my phone 3 times. When he called again, I answered, he wanted to know if I was ready to go, I laughed and said I have to put my shoes on. he said OK I will call you back.
About 20 minutes later he did call back, , , and I was ready for him, he asked me if I wired the $500.00 I said 'no I wired $599.00' he asked me who I wired it to, I read him the name he gave me earlier. He asked for the tracking number, So I gave him one, (i use moneygram to send money to my son, I just got out an old rcpt, rearranged the numbers and bingo) he said he would call me back, which he did 5 times to varify the tracking number I gave him, then he asked if I had the phone number to the moneygram station I used to make the payment, I said SURE, I gave him a bogus number, he said, YEP YOU GUESSED IT!
I'll call back, which he did, he informed me that the phone number I gave him was invalid, I said, ' really? Kind of like the 2.5 million dollars I won?' He said, YES... I said, ' so you admit this is a scam?' he said 'NO scam' I said 'how does it feel to be lied to, and strung along in a game just to be taken advantage of?' he said 'i no take advantage of you' I said 'ok, how are you going to be here to deliver my 2.5 million dollars when I searched your number and you are in Jamaica?' He said, ' my people are just down the road' I told him ' ok then have your people bring me my lottery winnings and I will give them 500 cash' He started to say ' oh no can't do that' I told him that if in fact I had 'won ' anything I authorize him to give it to someone who needs it more than I do and If he called my number again I would find a way to press charges against his non english speaking BUTT!
I had him expecting/chasing this phantom money for a little over 2 hours.
So far so good, but today is when I got this bogus check in the mail, at first I thought it was related but then I checked the dates, the letter was mailed on the 28th of FEB, I got the phone call March 3...
Amazing how there are so many scammers out there, ( and they wonder why we have trust issues)
anyway PEOPLE BEWARE, be smart.