A $4,100 check received by a Hagerstown man this week, presented as part of a sweepstakes prize, likely is part of a classic scam, the Hagerstown Police Department said.
"It's a take on an old scam that's been around for a while," Sgt. Paul Kifer said.
Typically, the scammer says the recipient has won an international lottery and sends a fraudulent check, Kifer said. Or, in a variation, the scammer might say the recipient has inherited money that was invested in another country by a relative. The scammer asks the recipient to deposit the check and send a money order back as a way to get around taxes and fees on the winnings or inheritance. By the time the bank discovers the check is no good, the money order has been processed and the money sent is lost, Kifer said.
Thomas Hammett, 81, said the letter he received was on letterhead from a financial group in New York and said he had won a cash prize of $650,000. Included was a check for $4,100.15 from a sausage house in Texas and instructions to contact someone about paying various fees.