Police are investigating two letters received by area residents claiming they won money in a sweepstakes process, an apparent scam. Both residents were aware this was suspicious and notified police.
The envelope contained a letter claiming the recipient won $225,000 and provided a check made out in the recipient’s name for a sum of $4,685, which was provided to help pay a “processing fee” of $3,900.
The letter further advised the recipient to contact a designated claim agent to begin the claim process. It said the claim agent would advise the recipient to deposit the check into a personal bank account and then send the $3,900 processing fee via Western Union.
The letter said the recipient would be provided with names and an address to send the funds to, sometimes dividing the payments between two points of contact with the same address.
Once this was completed, the letter said, the recipient would be asked for the money transfer case number for the electronic wiring service transaction. After this, the letter said, the person could obtain the money, which is usually untraceable.
The letter has the title “Nova Capital Financial Services” in the header and the check has the business name of “Cash Time Title Loans, LLC.” Police have notified Wells Fargo Bank and the United States Postal Service about these activities.
Police are warning residents not to respond to any unsolicited mail, phone calls or emails claiming they have won a lottery or sweepstakes, especially when it requires them to send money for processing or acceptance fees.
Any resident who has been contacted by these scam perpetrators should contact his or her local police department.