The letter I received from Star Financial in Gainsville FL (real address according to map quest) then there was the check that looked official enough it had a company name of Oneonta Daily Star in Oneonta NY (real address of a newspaper in NY) and then the bank on the check was JP Morgan Chase which is a real bank it is in Wilmington DE, at first glance I thought this was real. As I read on I realized it didnt have Publishers clearing house or Readers Digest name anywhere on the check so how could it be winnings from them? Here is exactly word for word what the letter stated.
"We are pleased to inform you through this letter that ournetwork shows you as thelucky winner of the unclaimed prize money in the amount of Fifty Seven Thousand Dollars -- ($57,000) in United States funds. The system indicates that, your name was randomly selected through a computerized ballot system as a winner fo the 2008 sweepstakes draws. Congratulations!!.
All Participants were selected through a computerized ballot system drawn from Readers Digest, Publishers Clearing House, Online Sweepstakes, Internet Games etc.
Enclosed, is a check for ($4,797.47). which covers both the administrative payment and clearence fees of your winnings. For authorizing and processing of your price, please contact your agent Yolanda Fisher at TEL: 1-514-561-4239. Your winnings must be claimed not later than June 11, 2008.
Your name is attached to claim number US/WA-03/31-0.... We advice you keep your claim number confidentially secured until your claim is processed and funds remitted as this is part of your security protocol.
Please remember to quote your number in all correspondence with us in order to avoid unnecessary delays. Congratulations again from our Staffs and sponsors.
A Division of Star Corporation 100SW 75th Street SUite 201 Gainsville FL 32607"
As you can see while it does state 2 reputable sources it doesnt give you any information on the sweepstakes you officially won it from plus there are numerious context errors that I financial person would not err.
I beleive this scam to be one where someone gains access to your checking account when you put the check in it reports the routing and account info to their computers this is scary stuff. If they can get you to deposit it then then they can get your numbers. I tried calling the Yolanda person but it went to a man's voice on an answering machine stating the hours of operation and then a woman's voice in french -- so I came to RippOff.com and found a report from a woman in WV that had a similar letter sent to her from someone using the Reader's Digest/Publishers Clearing House name I know they were just using it because there was no R for Registered trademark reference anywhere in the letter nor any mention of their addresses.
Please be careful and be warned
WAKE FOREST, North Carolina