We've all seen those spammish emails promising millions of dollars from a deposed Nigerian prince (or some other dubious source). Yesterday, I got a much more legitimate looking (but nevertheless equally criminal and spurious) letter via the U.S. Mail.
Starting with a sort of official letter, purportedly from Comcast Financial Services & Consultants, a division of Comcast LLC in Englewood, CO. I've won some money - $57,000 in fact. And they have been nice enough to enclose a check for $3988.95 to cover "...administrative taxes and Clearance fees...."
The way the scam works. I deposit the check into my account, and I am asked to wire (to some untraceable or temporary account, no doubt) some or all of the $3988.95 for these fees and taxes. A few days later, the check comes back as fraudulent, and I am out the money I wired off into the ether.....
How to know that this is a scam? Other than the obvious "you don't get something for nothing" princial.
* The letter was sent from Canada, not Colorado
* The phone number to call is 514-577-2407, a Canadian number
* The main Comcast HQ is at 188 Inverness Drive, not 183 Inverness Drive, although they seem to have some offices there.
* Both the letter and the check omitted the leading zero from my zip code (6106 vs. 06106) which is pretty much Database / Spreadsheet / Mail Merge 101 stuff that no legitimate organization would miss
* The check is written drawn on a Bank One account. Bank One was purchased by JP Morgan Chase in 2004 (I know, I lost about $10K of annual work in that buyout), and no longer operated under the Bank One name. Otherwise, the check looks very legit.
* The check uses the Comcast logo, but the letter does not.....corporations are pretty fussy about their branding and logo consistency
Anything else you want to know?
This piqued my attention only so far as it looked so legitimate that I wanted to dig a little to find the cracks. I wonder how many people will get taken in my this little scam. I dropped a note to the postal inspector, but I figure if I was out there googling some of the names and numbers in this little ruse, others would be was well.