June 01, 2012 - WHAT'S IN YOUR MAILBOX? - June 2012
Before you open your mail, do you look for a return address or notice the type of stamp affixed to it? Beware of letters addressed to you with NO RETURN ADDRESS and a stamp that comes from Canada or another foreign country!!!
The contents of this envelope could contain a check made out to you with your full name, street address, and zip code from the Progressive Insurance Company for an amount in excess of several thousand dollars. The envelope may also contain a letter telling you that you have won a significant amount of money, there is a special courier company (with their telephone number included) that will begin the claims process as soon as you call their number, and there is also a coupon for you to fill out with your full name, address, telephone number, claim number, and signature.
DO NOT cash the check from Progressive Insurance Company or send any money at all. It’s a fake check. This is a potentially devastating piece of mail for several other reasons. First, the letter originates in Canada, which means it’s a cross-border attempt to commit fraud in the United States. All cross-border lotteries, checks, or any other telemarketing tactic is a Federal Crime. The fraudsters like to use real company names, such as Progressive Insurance Company, to trick you into cashing the check at your bank. Some of these checks may look VERY REAL and believable, especially to a vulnerable person. BUT they are NOT REAL in the context of this letter. You will lose all of YOUR money instead.
If you call the telephone number provided, you will be making a call to Canada, and you will be billed for the entire call. The fraudsters love to keep you on the line for as long as possible to rack up the charges on your phone bill. And what’s even worse is that the longer they keep you on the line, the more personal information they may get out of you.
If you fill out the coupon on the bottom and give it to a courier who arrives at your home address, you may be inviting further trouble, especially if they gain entry into your home. Plus, you’ve given them more personal information.
DO NOT RESPOND TO THESE LETTERS. Simply shred the letters, and have NO CONTACT by phone. If you have any doubt, hold off on doing anything until you can speak to a family member or someone you can really trust.
From the desk of Officer Jane Constant
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