I received a letter in the mail on December 21, 2012 that was postmarked from Ontario, Canada with a prepaid stamp #7001929. The return address was P O Box 96 004 LCD 3, Mississauga ON LAY OA5. My name and address was typed on a legal-sized envelope. Inside was a letter from Sure Financial Incorporated with a subhead announcing it was a Lottery, Resources Management and Payment Verification firm.
It listed its offices as the following: USA OFFICE: 305 Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014; AFRICAN OFFICE: 101 West Avenue, Cape-town, South Africa 2000; SPAIN OFFICE: 144 Olivia Avenue, Malaga, Spain 28001; ENGLAND OFFICE: 2269 King Edward Road, London, United Kingdom ET8 6CT. The letter was dated 12/10/12.
The Claim# stated CAL23345MD. It said that I was a 2nd prize winner in the second category of the EUROPEAN, AFRICAN AND USA Consumer sweepstake, in conjunction with the USA Departmental Stores. It named a serial number 71974 as being attached to my name and had matched the first five lucky numbers and that I had subsequently won US$250,000 (TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS) from the consumers sweepstakes lottery held on November 30th 2012.
It identified Sure financial services (An Independent Body) as being assigned by the sweepstakes organization as being used to inform and direct all winners and to assist them in receiving their winnings. In CAPS, the letter advised that they did not need my banking detials (spelled incorrectly) and to not disclose. The check was for $US $4,250.00 to help me pay their $3,840.00 processing fee.
I was advised to contact the claims agent, David Morgan, between 9am-5pm M-F, or between 9am-1pm on Sat at phone number 1-877-761-7074, to start claim processing and to activate the check.
It said to adhere to the claim agent's instructions. There was a note saying that I should not act on the notice until I had contacted David Morgan to avoid cases of misappropriation and mishandling of prize monies.
The unsigned letter ended with a congratulations by a Ms. Celine Chalker who was identified as the Promotion Manager. At the very bottom of the letter, there was a signatory section that said: in the presence of the courier, please sign and detach this part and give to them when you receive your check of US$250,000.00. If you lose this letter, your payment might be cancelled. The signatory section comprised first name, last name, address, claim number and please sign here.
In looking at all the information, I felt uneasy with what I was looking at. First of all the envelope did not have a person's or business name on the return address--just a P.O. box. When I looked at the check, there was no security watermark. The company name listed Brock White Company Construction Materials with an address of 2575 Kasota Avenue ST.Pauls, MN 55108, which my eye caught immediately as something wrong, as it should have been ST. Paul, MN.
The other thing that bothered me is why a company in Minnesota would have their checks drawn on the First Bank Havre, First Bank Montana National Association located at 235 First Street, Havre MT 59501 with a rather large number on the check itself ( 541662).
The check itself was made out to me at my P.O. box for $4,250.00 and signed by a stamp from a James Madison. The bank routing number was : 092904554 with an account number of 150080648341.
I suspected that the entire package, the letter, the check, etc. was bogus, but to prove it to myself, I dialed the number on the letter, 1-877-761-7074. The phone had a buzzing sound after ringing about five times. I got a voice mail to leave a message and left my name and number.
About three minutes later, I received a return phone call from a rather thick-accented man who sounded African to me. He did not identify himself. I had to ask him if he was David Morgan. He said yes. He called me back on a different number than the one I had called him on. His number was 239-676-4132, so I suspected him immediately.
I talked to him about the check and whether he would send me a cashier's check rather than the one he had sent. His explanation was that I needed to take the one I had to the bank, deposit it and then call him back. He also said that if I did not deposit the check, then they would know that I was not the right person who had won the lottery.
Mr. Morgan was not pleasant and did not congratulate me on winning the lottery. His focus was strictly on me taking the check immediately to the bank and calling him back when it was deposited.
This entire episode was unlike what I envisioned winning a lottery to be. I am telling you this, because I want others to know about this organization in the hopes that they will not be scammed and fall for this misrepresentation. These people need to be shut down and fast. I see that my experience with these scam artists was not the first. Can the Attorney General's in the other states and mine take action?