I received a check for $1950.00 stating that I had won in the Third Category and would be awarded a lump sum pay out of USD $65,000.00 from total prize money of $1,560.000.00.
Assistance check of $1950.00 has been enclosed to enable me to finance the International clearing fees. The clearance fees should be remitted to the claim agent. Once I pay that, I would receive $59,150.00 minus $3900.00 or 6% Sponsor's Commission plus TAX.
They state that I should keep the award from public notice until the claim has been processed and the money remitted to my account as part of their security protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking of advantage of the program by the participants and public.
When I found out the check had been returned by my bank, I called the number listed at the bottom. A man answered with a very thick accent and I told him I deposited a check that I was told was part of my winnings and it was returned by my bank and needed to know why. He said I should have contacted them prior to depositing the check and now the check had been refused because they had not identified me as the winner before I deposited it. I asked him what I should do then to claim my winnings. He said I need to pay $615 for shipping and acct maintenance fees of $1150 in addition to the 6%($3900.00) and also the $1950.00.
I then asked him what is the total I would be receiving. He stated $58,000.00. I told him the letter I had stated I would receive $65,000.00. He said they had to charge for the fees. I then told him to deduct the fees of $615 from the $58,000.00 and send the check to me. He stated that of course they would be happy to do that but I would be past the two week claim period and would void my award.
I asked him how would I be guaranteed the money once they received my check for $615.00? He said if I didn't receive the check I could claim the loss through my insurance!! I told him that this didn't seem right and he got upset and asked why I am questioning their legitimacy as a company when I was the one who tried to cheat them by depositing the check before calling them. I stated that the letter said it was part of my winnings and if it is legitimate I am entitled to deposit. The bank identified my signature when I deposited the check and there shouldn't be a problem.
At that point, he got upset and said he was voiding my winnings and told me to have a good day. I told him that I would be reporting him to any agency in the US and in Canada that deals with fraud. He hung up on me.
I have all the check information for anyone interested.