I received a letter on Feb 22, 2008, from Powerpoint Financial Inc., indicating that I had won a sweepstakes that was held on January 5, 2008, my name and address was drawn in the 2nd category of this sweepstakes. Included was a ticket serial number: NO 387450146 and the lucky winning number : NO 38-44-66-79-91.
The letter stated that they have unsuccessfully attempted to contact me on several occasionas and this was the Final Notification. (The letter had been sent to my old address which then was forwarded to my new address by the post office). The letter went on to state that I was entitled to the sum of 250, 000.00 US dollars. This was apparently from a total prize of 5 Million US dollars that was to be shared among 20 other declared winners. The letter stated that all winners had been randomly chosen by computer ballot system drawn from over 50, 000 names.
The letter included a claim number : DH/SUL-0011 and that it had been assigned to the North American Claims Affiliate office. And to expedite the processing of the winnings a check was enclosed in the amount of 4, 890.00 US dollars which had been deducted from my winning share of the 5 Million US dollars, which was 250, 000.00 US dollars. And the sole purpose of the enclosed check was for payment of applicable Government Taxes owed to the IRS on my supposed big winnings.
The tax about owed to the IRS was in the amount of 2, 985.00 US dollars to be paid either Moneygram or Western Union.
The letter stated that I was not to attempt to use this check until I called Powerpoint Financial Inc and made contact with my claim agent for further clarification of this winning notification.
I was to contact Bill Hensley at 1-905-598-4014 immediately within 5 days of receiving this winning notification.
The letter is signed by one Laura Morgan (Promotion Manager)
So I called this phone number indicated in the letter. Upon the answer of an actual person after 4 rings, a male answered the phone asked when I had received this notification and I replied today. February 22, 2008. The person on the other end of the phone proceeded to explain that the reason I had received this winning notification was because I had been randomly picked by a computer and I was one of the winners to split a 5 Million dollars prize. He then gave me instructions to take the enclosed check to the bank and deposit it, then I was to return home and call back. Then the phone call abruply ended.
So after the person hung up on me. I proceeded to the bank to first deposit the check. On my way to the bank I started thinking that maybe I should ask for the bank manager to determine whether or not this was a real check or not. So after unloading myself and my 5 year old granddaughter out of the car and headed inside the bank. Upon entering the bank a bank teller asked if she could help me and I asked if I could please see the bank manager. I then handed the check and the letter I had received in the mail to the bank manager, who's first words were this looks like fraud. She then handed the check to the teller and asked the teller to look up the bank from which the check was written on and nothing came on the internet for that particular bank. The bank then took a copy of the check and the letter and returned both originals to me. And said that the check was a fraud and they were going to send the copies of the check and the letter to the police station.
So I loaded up my granddaughter and headed back home. With the original check and letter still in hand. I was then considering going directly to the police department myself, considering the bank didn't do much on actually checking out anything about the check or the letter itself. On my drive headed home, while still considering the police, I spotted a check cashing company and decided to have them do some checking. I first handed the teller at the check cashing company the check (after I had scribbled out my bank account information on the back of the check), who took one look at the check and said it was fraud. He stated that he has had a couple of these same checks come through his place of business a couple of times in the past month.
So after about a 20 minute battery of checking and tracking down the actual bank that the check was supposedly written on, it was finally officially declared fraud, and the person at the check cashing company took the check and the original letter that I had received from Powerpoint Financial Inc., stapled them together along with my phone number for future contact by possibly the police and stated that he was sending it directly to the police department. He gave me a copy of the original letter from Powerpoint Financial Inc.
There may never be any action taken on this matter, but at least this report has important information concerning Powerpoint Financial Inc, Bill Hensley and his partner in crime Laura Morgan.
I am probably one of the lucky few that didn't go all the way through the process, whatever that may have been, and wound up in some sort of trouble financially over whatever misguided purposes Powerpoint Financial Inc. may have intended.
I am hoping that this report to help guide others in stopping and thinking before acting on something that could have been extremely costly in the end.