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Police: Being a 'winner' could cost you, check scams on the rise

12:28 PM, Aug 26, 2013   |    comments
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PALATKA, Fla. -- It feels good to win, especially when it's money!

Scam artists are praying on that good feeling and the Palatka Police Department has taken notice.

According to a press release from the Palatka Police Department, several city residents have reported receiving mail identifying them as winning a monetary award or lottery.

The prize notification mailers include a letter and check which appear valid to the recipient and their bank. However, according to the PPD, the checks are counterfeit and if deposited in a bank the funds will be subtracted from the account holder's balance after the check is returned.

This means victims could be out hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on how far the scam proceeds.

Victims usually receive a contact name and telephone number to call prior to depositing the check. The purpose of the call is to allow the scammer the opportunity to coach the supposed winner on what information to provide the bank and not to tell their family.

"Local banks, check cashing services, and businesses that provide financial services to the community are aware of these scams and will normally try to assist the person before they are victimized," said the PPD.

Police suggest recipients of unsolicited checks, or other offers appearing "too good to be true" do not respond until you verify the information is valid and tell your family.

First Coast News

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