Maxine Rial followed the old adage, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
Monday night after work, she went through her mail and found a letter from Global Investment Holdings and Finance Inc., that was a "Notice of Uncliamed Winnings." Yes, they mispelled "unclaimed."
Included was a cashier's check from Great Basin Federal Credit Union, based in Reno, Nev., for $4,885.
The letter says Mrs. Rial earned a lump sum of $85,000 from a Super Seven Contest (that she knew nothing about), and would be sent to her once the taxes were paid. The check is to be deducted from the winnings and is to be used "for the payment of the applicable government taxes on your winnings."
And of course Global Investment was kind enough to calculate the tax o be $2,985. "to be paid through Moneygram found at every Walmart store or any Western Union in any convenient store."
The letter says that Mrs. Rial will receive her tax information from "your claim agent Kaithyn Hall." It also urged her "please do not attempt to use this check until you call. We urge you to keep this winning CONFIDENTIAL until your claim has been processed and your cash remitted to you as this is part of your security protocol to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by non participants taking advantage of this program."
The tax agent is listed as Brendan Pierce of Ottawa, Canada and must be contacted.
Needless to say, it's a big scam that's taken many forms. You get big check, you get cash, you pay mysterious company part of proceeds. Then it turns out check was fake, you're left with thousands of dollars flushed down the toilet.
Interesting, holding up the check to light showed watermarks and other features that legit checks have.
But when we photocopied the check, guess what? You can clearly see "VOID" written 12 times across the check.
So, be warned!!! You REALLY DID NOT WIN SOME MYSTERIOUS LOTTERY OR CONTEST YOU NEVER ENTERED. THE CHECK IS FAKE! IT'S A SCAM!!!!
Rials said Tupelo Police said it can really do nothing about it, but you can file a report, not that it will do much good.