I received a letter in the mail with a check from this company called Star Securities, Inc. The letter stated "We are pleased to inform you that you are one of th declared winners of NORTH AMERICAN SHOPPERS SWEEPSTAKES held on MAY 5th, 2008 in the 2nd Category. Ticket serial NO 38476075 Drew the Lucky Winning NO 38477 889.
We have made several unsuccessful attempts to contact you regarding this winning. You are therefore entitlted to the sum of $125, 000 US DOLLARS. This si from total prize money of $5 Million US Dollars that was shared and presented among the other 40 declared 2nd CATEGORY winners. Please note that all the paricipantss were selecte through a random computer ballot system drawn from over 100, 000 names.
In accordance with our disbursement policy, your claim number JH/CA - 0011 has been assigned to our North American Claims Affiliate.
TO EXPEDITE THE PROCESSINIG, ENCLOSED IS A CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $4, 875.00 US DOLLARS, WHICH IS PART OF YOUR WINNING BEING SENT TO YOU, THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THIS CHECK IS T ENABLE YOU PAY FOR THE APPLICABLE GOVERNMENT TAXES ON YOU BIG WINNING.
The tax amount is $2, 975.00 (two thousand nine hundred and seventy-five dollars) for the government tax. THIS AMOUUNT IS TO BE PAID EITHER BY MONEYGRAM OR WESTERN UNION DIRECTLY TO THE TAX AGENT.
When the winning is processed, you will recieve your final check a lump sum payment of $120, 125.00 this amount will be sent to you and delivered by FedEx.
Please do not attempt to use this check until you call. You are advised to contact your claim agent immediately for further clarification as indicated below within 5 business days.
MR. GEORGE STANLY (CLAIM AENT)1-416-839-8417
Mrs Brenda Hicks (Prromotion Manager)"
The check has a watermark on the bank and "looks" very real. I did a computer web search and found this web page that let me know that this was a fake check and a scam. I never deposited the check, but i called my boss at work to get hispoint of view. H said a real lotery would take about a 1/3 of the money in taxes. I looked at the letter and soon realized that the paper was not on "Official letterhead". It was as if they printed the letter on a computer using plain paper. Even the signature was computer-generated.