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Resident warns others of potential scam

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton
Walter Parker thought he was on his way to winning the big money.

For years, Parker has entered Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes.

"I probably enter about three of those a week," Parker said.

On Tuesday, he received a piece of mail without a return address.

Inside, a letter proclaimed he was "one of the lucky winners in the second category of the Publisher's Clearing house and a Compensation Draw Sweepstakes held on JANUARY 21, 2010."

The letter stated an entry was attached to Parker's name and matched the "first five lucky numbers," making him a winner.

The letter suggested Parker call his own personal file agent (name and number available in the letter) and also included a check for $3,943, which the company -- P&V Services, Inc., based in New York, N.Y. -- said he could pay the Government Services Tax and Insurance.

In addition, a "total amount is $2,988.10," was to be paid through Western Union or MoneyGram.

The letter also stated, "P&V Services, Inc has been contacted by the Publisher's Clearing House to find winners who have not yet claimed their winnings and assists them through the claiming process."

Parker immediately took the letter to his bank.

As it turns out, the whole thing was a scam.

Parker went to the bank to cash the check, but was informed immediately of the scam. Bank officials immediately informed him to contact authorities.

"It sure is tempting," Parker said, adding he had even called his brother in St. Louis about his winnings.

"The check looks legitimate," he said. "But something seemed wrong."

According to a customer review at www.ripoffreport.com, the phone number attached to the letter Parker received is based in Toronto.

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said the scam sounded familiar.

"There are so many out there," Heaton told The Brazil Times. "It's one of those typical scams. Most people are aware of these."

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Because of the holidays approaching and many of us making online purchases (myself included), these SCAMS will be out in full force.

I received an email today from "FEDEX" indicating my "package was returned" due to a problem with the mailing address. (I am expecting a FEDEX package, so it caught my eye.)

FEDEX EXPRESS SERVICES and the "subject" indicates FEDEX DELIVERY PROBLEM No784305.

PLEASE be cautious when opening any suspicious emails. Take a moment to look at the email address sent from .. if this appears legit, then look at the recipient addresses. If there are numerous "to" email addresses and (in this case) variables of MY personal email address .. it's MALWARE and will infect your computer with a virus that's very difficult to remove!

We should always be wary of suspicious emails. If you aren't sure whether to open them or not .. GOOGLE what the "subject line" states. More often than not, you will find others who have fallen prey to these SCAMMERS and can immediately label this email "JUNK" or "SPAM".

Sorry to hear Mr. Parker nearly fell victim to a scam.

-- Posted by Emmes on Fri, Nov 12, 2010, at 8:22 AM

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