The chief said the intended victim of the recent swindle opened a letter apparently sent by Royal Mail to an address here. Royal Mail is the postal operation that serves the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The envelope contained a letter and a check for $3,800.
The letter stated that the recipient was a “2nd prize winner in the First category of the USA/EU Department Stores Sweepstake Lottery held on Jan. 1, 2014.”
The letter included a serial number that the mailer claimed matched the first lucky winners.
The prize was 50,000 U.S. dollars.
The letter stated that the winner would receive a certified check for the amount which would be delivered by a special courier company, UPS or FedEx.
The letter than asked the recipient to use the $3,800 check to pay tax fees totaling $2,800. The money to cover the $3,800 check reportedly had been deducted from the $50,000 winnings.
The letter asked the recipient to contact claim agents Peter Jones or Sandra Anderson at 1-470-809-9046.
By contacting the agent and sending the $2,800 payment to cover the tax fees, that would start the claims process to activate the $3,800 check that was included in the envelope.
“Anyone who has $4,000 in the bank might be tempted to send in the ‘fee’,” Treviño said. But what that person would find out is that the $3,800 check is worthless, and they would be out $2,800.
Treviño said the phony check in the envelope has the name of Amegy Bank of Texas and gives a Houston address.
The police chief said his officers are aware of the scam, and anyone who receives one of the letters should simply destroy it.
However, Treviño said he wanted to stop anyone from falling victim to the scam.
“If we can prevent at least one person from becoming a victim, it’s worth the effort,” he said.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.