Publishers Clearing House Scam

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by sportage, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. sportage

    sportage Diamond Member

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    So I get this letter in the mail saying I won 75,000 from Prize America and the Publishers clearing house logo also on the letter PCH.COM in orange & yellow with the little envelope symbol to the left.

    Included is a check for 4850.00 made to me drawn on BERTELSMAN DIRECT NORTH AMERICA INC. thru CHASE Manhattan Bank Delaware.

    This is an actual real check. When scanned, the words VOID show up on the scan, as to not allow someone to scan and reprint a usable copy.

    The ABA# is infact Chase Bank, and I called Chase and the account # is "active". But they would not verify funds, or can not do that anymore. Just a verify if the account is valid, and it was.

    This letter and check came in an envelope with no return address what so ever. With only the address to me, and a postage stamp from Canada on the front. Thats it.

    Also, on the letter, under PRIZE AMERICA heading, there is an address in Las Vegas NV, but the zip is 30003 (which IS NOT a NV zip code). That zip is from a southern state GA.

    I took it to my bank to try to narrow down more info, and they verified the check was a real check, but no doubt some sort of scam.

    The letter also said the 4850.00 was to satisfy US tax fee's, but they did not ask for money back to them, just that the check covered some required US fee's.

    The letter also had a tele # with a 604 areacode and a name to call to "activate" this check. When the number was called, a foreign mid eastern man's voice said to deposit the check, and another check would be send in a few days. They ask nothing about sending them money. The person also asked if I gave permission for my name to be used and listed in the "winners circle" promo.

    So, this is a pretty slick scam. What the bank told me is they do not need to request or ask for money to be sent back. That by me depositing this check, the other end would have all my account info electronically. And could then debit my account for whatever.
    And in about two weeks, the check would no doubt bounce, taking me for 4850.00 x2 = 9700.00 total if the scam went as planned on their part.

    I knew it looked fishy from the start since I have never entered a PCH contest for more than 20 years, and never entered any lottery other than the state powerball.

    I also reported this all to PCH.com as well as a national fraud hotline.

    Anyone else ever seen this type of scam???

    Oh, btw, PCH said they award prizes that big in person with the pch van, balloons and all. Like on tv. And their checks are only PCH checks, not third party checks. And they send any mailings registered mail with verifing required. They just dont send yuou a check out of the blue. And never are any "fee's" involved.
     
  2. PokerGuy

    PokerGuy Lifer

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    This seems like a fairly typical scam, except for this part:

    If this is true, this is definitely a new development. I'm not aware of any situation where the "other side" (the guys running the scam) get all your account information simply by you depositing a check. Perhaps someone closer to the banking process can provide more info.
     
  3. Vette73

    Vette73 Lifer

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    Maybe they see the check clear and report it as fraud. they also ask what account it was put into?
     
  4. PokerGuy

    PokerGuy Lifer

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    I thought that might be the case, but I find that very difficult to believe. Basically, if your bank provides your account information to some other place without your consent or knowledge, and that third party then uses that information to drain your account, the bank will be responsible for that loss, not you. There's no way I can see banks putting themselves in that position.

    These scams work because the banks are not in a position to lose money, the victim of the scam ends up owing money to the bank because they initiate the wire etc. If you simply deposit a check, I'd imagine you would be responsible for the amount of the check once it's returned, and you get charged a fee for the bounced check, but there's no way they can hold you responsible for someone emptying your account without your consent or knowledge if you didn't give that third party your banking information.

     
  5. sportage

    sportage Diamond Member

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    UPDATE:
    Just out of my own curiosity, and to see how far they would go, I called this number back that was in the letter.
    Same guy answered. I acted like the check was deposited and in my account.
    He then told me I needed to go to western union and get a $2850 money gram or order,
    and to BE SURE to hang onto the receipt cause I would need it to show Fedex when my $75000 check came.
    He also told me to get this within the hour.

    So I called fraud.org in Washington DC to update them on this.
    They are well aware of this scam, said it comes out of Canada, and gave me
    the Canada fraud hotline #.

    How this would come down, if someone was to follow thru, is once you gave the scam guy (scum is a better term), this western union #, they could pick up their $2850 anywhere in the world, and be gone.

    What is shocking, is I know there are people that have actually followed thru and thought this was legit. I know a lot of people that would have probably followed thru, like my 80 year old parents.

    PS. My banker did say they would have access to your account info, if this check was deposited. But I too think she was wrong on that. But thats what she claimed.
     
  6. cubby1223

    cubby1223 Lifer

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    I find it more shocking that with a known phone number and person answering the calls, they're not tracked and shut down yet.
     
  7. pravi333

    pravi333 Senior member

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  8. EagleKeeper

    EagleKeeper Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
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    Once you deposit the check, your account # is usually on it for tracking purposees within the banking system.

    All processing banks also will have their info stamped on the check.

    Once the paper check is picked up, all the info that is needed for an electronic scam is available.

    Now, electronic debits are issued against your account.

    The scammers get the funds immediately, and the sucker may not realize it until they get their monthly statement.

    By that time, the scammers are gone, their receiving account is closed and you have to fight it out with your bank.

    And the scammer is able to sit back and plot an attack on another sucker.
     
  9. mordantmonkey

    mordantmonkey Diamond Member

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    unauthorized electronic debits are returnable to the issuer on consumer entries within 60 days of the settlement date. if the bank says anything tell them to check their NACHA rules and get back to you. if the originator has closed their account by that date, too f'ing bad. it becomes the originating bank's problem. they should have tighter risk controls on who they allow to originate debits.
     
  10. OdiN

    OdiN Banned

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    Take the check to a Chase branch bank. Try to cash it. Don't give them any account information, just CASH it.

    They will be able to magically tell you then if the funds are available.
     
  11. sportage

    sportage Diamond Member

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    I thought about doing that, but no chase branches around here.
    Chase DID tell me the account was "active".
    Seems they have a hell of a lot of info on this person,
    i.e. open active checking account, active phone #, and still in the scam business.

    I'd think they would be able to shut him/them down pretty fast.
    But in reality, seems fraud.org and others just want to pass the buck.
    They are concerned, but thats it.
    I can now see how easy 9/11 was to pull off.
    US agencies probably had real clues for a long time, but until that day,
    no one acted.
    I doubt anything has changed since then, really.

    Kind of creepy knowing someone pulling such an involved scam, using real checks, accounts and phone numbers, has my name and address on file.

    And how did they get it?????
    Just don't want some terrorist showing up at my door asking "where's my money, American bastard".