Check Scam Lands in Local Mailboxes

12-1-05 - She thought it was her lucky day when she received a $4,000 check in the mail, but at the bank it was a different story. It was a scam that nearly claimed another victim, and this is actually not that uncommon a situation.

Folks across the country start receiving letters around the first of the year saying they have won some kind of international lottery. The latest coming Monday right here in Grayson County.

From the seal to the business name, it looks legit, but as always, looks can be deceiving.

"Most of these things like this saying you won but send money, they should send up a red flag," Lt. Mike Eppler of the Denison Police Department said.

On Monday, a Sherman woman received a letter from Imperial Financial Services in Canada saying she had won $150,000 in a lottery she never remembers playing.

Inside the envelope was a check for $4,000 with a contact number for a Stephan St. Pierre on how she could collect the rest. But when she took the check to Bank of America in Denison, they told her although it looked real, it wasn't.

It's a spin-off of the Nigerian Check Scam, an age old con where international companies supposedly make money off the American exchange rate, but the money they send you isn't real.

When KXII contacted the number on the letter, we received a voice mailbox that said all calls have a reply time of 24 hours.

Anytime you receive a check, especially one from outside the country, you should approach it with caution and contact local law enforcement.

That letter was taken to the Grayson County Sheriff's Office, but since there was no monetary loss, no legal action is expected.