A new scam hitting Payson mailboxes and e-mails promises a quarter million dollars in winnings after a $3,250 Canadian tax is paid by the recipient.
A local couple, who wished not to be identified, turned the check and phony letter over to Payson police and Bank of America employees Monday after they looked the lottery company up online and discovered it was a fraud.
The letter from Summit Financial Investments, Inc. claims the recipient is a second category winner in a lottery drawing held March 9 and is entitled to $250,000.
An attached check for $4,700 is allegedly for paying a Canadian non-resident government service tax of $3,250.
When the couple brought the check to Bank of America, employees told them the account number on the check was real, but for a different account holder. Richard Nixon also signs the check.
Payson Police Chief Don Engler said he regularly sees phone, mail and Internet scams float through the community, often targeting senior citizens.
“They are pretty prevalent everywhere, but with our population of older adults compared to other communities, they see that as a potential for scams,” Engler said.
Engler said he has even received several phony e-mails to his police e-mail from scammers looking for money.
“I think they get the e-mail from somewhere and they don’t realize it’s a police e-mail,” Engler said.
Engler advises anyone who receives an unsolicited phone call or mail promising winnings to be cautious.
“Don’t give out any personal information unless you generate the call and don’t accept calls from a third party requesting information,” he said.
A victim of a fraud can contact the police department or Attorney General’s Office.
“We like to be advised of them so we know what is going on and we keep the information so we know what types of scams are operating in the community,” Engler said.