Here’s how a certain scam works that’s been offered to people in Darien, as described by a town police announcement on Thursday.
Remember, you can’t lose if you don’t play:
The Darien Police Department would like to inform the public about a mail-scam that has been occurring in town. The potential victim is sent what appears to be documentation that they have won a substantial amount of money in the “Publishers Clearing House” sweepstakes.
A check is included, and the recipient is instructed to contact the “claim manager” prior to cashing the check and warned not to contact anyone in regards to the prize. The amount the check is made out for is substantially higher than the amount the recipients are supposed to have won.
The recipient is instructed to deposit the check, and send a refund of part or all of the difference to a location in New York (usually a money order or other untraceable means).
The ultimate goal of the scam is to have the victim send the refund prior to realizing the check is fraudulent.
The Darien Police Department wishes to remind people that this “overpayment/refund” scam continues to take varying forms.
Should anyone encounter a situation where they have been told they were overpaid for something and are being requested to send money in return, please consider the possibility that the process is part of a scam.
What the Federal Trade Commission Says:
- “Still think it’s real? The real Publishers Clearing House says it will never ask you to pay a fee to collect a prize. Check out Publishers Clearing House’s fraud protection page.”
— an April 24 post from the FTC Consumer Information blog
As always, contact the Darien Police Department with any questions or if you are suspicious of a communication you’ve received.
We have included an example of the scam document being received by residents (see bottom of this article)
- How the ‘You’ve Won Our Sweepstakes!’ Scam Works (June 9)
- Elderly Darien Man Victim of ‘You’re a Winner’ Telephone Scam (February 2016)
- Darien Man Fleeced Out of $4,600 in Classic Check Fraud Scheme (April 19)