I received the following letter from T.B.N. Financial Services Inc:
"We are pleased to advise you that you are one of the winners in the "CONSUMER COMPENSATION DRAW" organized by the OFFICE DEPOT in conjunction with the SWEEPSTAKES ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA.
An ENTRY SLIP with serial number 3874591 attached to you r name drew the lucky winning numbers 22-87-76-44-24.
You are entitled to the sum of US $250,000.00(two hundred and fifty thousand dollars) Payable to you by CERTIFIED CHECK, and will be delivered to you by a courier company (FedEx or UPS). You are therefore advised to contact your claims agent
BOB MILLA: 1-778-319-5651
Monday through Friday....8am...To....6pm (Pacific Standard Time), for further instructions on how to claim your big winnings.
Enclosed is a check of US $4,980.00 which you will use to pay the Non Resident Government Service Tax (GST), payable to your tax agent by MONEYGRAM as stated below.
483 14 Avenue
St. John NF Canada
TAX AMOUNT: $3,800 us dollars (three thousand eight hundred dollars)
PAYMENT METHOD: Money Gram (MONEY TRANSFER)
DO NOT ACT ON THIS LETTER UNTILL YOU SPEAK WITH YOUR CLAIMS AGENT BOB MILLA who will advise you on how to claim your winnings.
*This transcription is accurate down to the misspelled "UNTILL" and excessive use of capitalized words.*
Clearly a scam, the letter was a tip off -- be advised that the check looks very real, but if taken to a bank, it will not be read by the machines.
I'm planning on leaving the entire contents of the envelope at my bank for investigation, however, since the scam was perpetrated from outside the country, no one is likely to be prosecuted.