Archive for July 2nd, 2009

Fancy Scam-by-mail Offering

Mail Spam

Mail Spam

Just got a letter from Canada, allegedly from the Readers Digest Sweepstakes, but with a letterhead address of 1125 Cornell Ave, Atlanta GA 33412. The phone/fax number is 912-480-0353, oddly not a toll-free business number. The letter has medium production values, pixellated Readers Digest logos, surprisingly few typos, and a painfully ersatz signature.

I’m to believe I’ve won $255,069.00 in a contest I’ve never entered (the way I see constests, while you’ve got to play to win, entering doesn’t improve your chances of winning). The “69” is a nice touch, I’d say.

Enclosed is an exceedingly valid-looking check for $3892.91 “to help you cover any charges that may be required before you receive your funds.” Check number 1100912681, if you can believe that. It has excellent production values, a genuine artificial watermark on the back, and is nominally drawn on an actual Canadian bank.

Bogus check

Bogus check

Obviously, a fraud. International and postal, no less.

I’m impressed at the level of effort they went to, but it seems that with an actual telephone number (the address is surely faked), some branch of law enforcement should be able to fly right into their ears. No, I am not going to call that number…

I gave the FBI a tip, but I’m reasonably sure nothing will come of it.

[Update: Well, maybe the FBI didn’t do anything, but there’s an absolutely wonderful riff based on this letter. I’ll only quibble about the 57 Chevy… it was really a Studebaker.]

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