So what did you do with the $2500? Did the bank return the check and did you have any penalties?
I received a letter from Readers Digest. I had won 255,000 dollars.
I too recieved the same letter along with a check, I was sooooooo excited cause my husband & I are about to be homeless and i thought maybe life was about to get better for once. Shame on me I guess our lives are only going to get worst, This makes me so sad why do people do things like this it's not right and it's not fare..
I too recieved a letter saying i had won 145,000, it came with an insurance check for 4975.44. come to find out i did a little bit of research and it is totally a scam.
I received the same letter and check in Arkansas. I actually called the BNY Mellon Bank and am in the process of faxing them all the info. I'm not wanting to sit still on this situation. I have a damn good attorney and would love to take these people's money the legit way, for scamming all the people that did believe it was real. Anyone who was taken by these people and out any kind of money over it, don't sit back. Do something about it. You might be surprised at the results. The names on my letter were Janet Romano and Peter Jenkins, and Leonard T. Kennett as Regional Mangager Office#12064450633
I hav as well reseved a letter of sweeostakes drawing in my favor of $355;069.00'it inciuded a cashers check worth $3,610.00.With a # to call 1-912-480-0353.i've called numerus times.once they answered yet acted as if they could'nt hear me speeking an hung up the phone on me.when i did finly speek 2 someone they gave no name even when asked 4 it,told me 2 cash the check simpaly that-cash it.when i tried 2 take it 2 the bank ''wells fargo'' they keep it saying it was fradulent.an were going 2 report the letter as so,an would let me know its out come.I find this rather atroshious apoling due 2 factors i can't currently change,econmy the way it is the reshion&employment down every wher.I am sadden over this hoks i could hav used it 2 aquier,things i currintly had been inable 2 aqumuate in my unemployed state.such simple things some take 4 granted&somethings most will never[hopefully] b without.if this is not a hoks please deeliver what u clame i am intiteled,u no not how much of a blessing to me ur letter seemed 2 b. our u would hav come throw on ur words.R they an good 2 u,?so far they an't been 2forthright 4me.B FAKE or prove ur self 2 b real.Our amarica has truly lost due 2 scandeless blastfemers like ur selfs whom pride them selfs on scandle&fabrications, hipe of any an all natur in a attempt 2 deceve.any one poor enouth 2 simply wish that 4 a moment in this messed up exsistance they my recive jus a little good,an not b lied 2 bys U or ther selfs in order 2 b able 2 belive it.Sincerly,Adrienne A. Hardy [a resver of this promising letter.deliver or stop this deset hav u no morals.
didn't fool me
I recieved a letter from "Readers Digest" as well only with a Houston, TX address. They said I won $355,069.00 and sent a check from US Bank for $3,400.00. I don't read Readers Digest or remember entering a sweepstakes so I immediately looked up the address online and found this site. The names to contact are Peter Nibul and Carol Henser; the Prize Disbursement was Jon Bencher. Postmarked from Canada. I am going to contact my local news station so others can be aware of this scam.
GOT A LETTER FROM 1125 16TH AVE HOUSTON, TX 33412
READER'S DIGEST WITH A CHECK FOR 3,720.00 WITH A PROMISE OF
355,069.00.CALL CONTACT # 1-604-518-0653 TALKED WITH PETER NIBUL IF THIS IS HIS REAL NAME. HE ASSURED ME THIS CHECK WAS REAL. I CALLED READER'S DIGEST SWEEPSTAKE DEPARTMENT THEY ASSURED ME THIS WAS A SCAM, AND TO PLEASE REPORT THIS TO THE POLICE
I got the same letter and check my amount was for $3,985.50 wqw that would be nice the name signed was Jennifer Andersen (PRIZE AWARD ADMINISTRATOR) The number for me to call 1-778-316-5007 then the notice stated "NO PURCHASE OR SKILL-TESTING QUESTIONS REQUIRED" that was too funny no i didn't attempt to cash the check.
Got my check today for 4,985 with a winnings of $255,069. Check was from Allstate and American Heritage Life Insurance Co. in Jacksonville, FL. New names on letter: Michael Malevich and Sarah Ficher with a 604 number to call. Letter was signed by a Jennifer Johnson. I'll probably call just for the fun of it. But I hope Dateline NBC or someone stops this fraud.
No calls just this stupid letter in the mail letter from Reader's Digest and the check for 38650.20 lol checks look legite but it is certainly not. It was issued by Allstate american Heritage Life Insurance Company from Jacksonville, FL......
Here is another variation:
Letter stamped in Canada
Date NoveRber 30th
Address on letter: 1125 16th Ave, Houston, TX 33412 (that's a West Palm Beach, FL zip code!)
$355,069.00 in winnings
check from BNY Mellon for $3,880.30,
from Bristol West Insurance Group
asked to call Mark Covila or Linda Nicholson at
604-518-0653 (British Columbia, Canada number)
Signed: Jon Bencher
Any winnings would always be communicated via CERTIFIED mail.
Don't fall for it!
I received a letter today to with a check enclosed but as soon as I saw it I said to myself..hmm..lottery?..I never entered a lottery and the stamp on the envelope is from Canada!..the letterhead say sthe same address as the rest of the ppl complaining...1125 16th Ave Houston TX 33412..can we report them to the FBI??
I also received a letter from Readers digest, 1125 16th Ave, Houston, Tx 33412
I received a check from AIG Annuity Insurance Company for $3602.12 and my prize is for a lump sum of $355,069
The tel # given is 1-778-858-7720 and the contact people are Mark Covila or Lynn Wong.
I am so glad that I checked this site before depositing the check. Yes, for me too, a prize like this would have been heaven sent, but I guess it is too good to be true.
hello,i read your messege.well as like everyone else i received this letter also.well i was doing research before i done anything with the check.well i found this website called ripoff reports.so we can do something about this.i hope others read this and joins me on getting something done about this.this is not right and as american we do need to do something about this.we need to start talking[or writing]to each other.so our voice will be heard.
thank you and i hope this helps you.i am also sorry that they did this to you and me.as americans lets do something about this
i hope you have a merry christmas
WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS....ANYONE READING THIS PLEASE REPLY
REPORT A PHONE CALL FROM 1-778-316-5007
I ALSO RECIEVE A LETTER SAYING I HAVE WON THIS MUCH MONEY $255.090.60 AND IT HAS $3.580.90 DOLLARS IN IT.. INSURANCE COMPANY BY BRISTOL.I HAVE SPOKE TO MEGAN HAYE AND SAID THAT DEPOSIT THE MONEY AND CALL HER IF IT GOT IN TO THE BANK AND TOLD US TO WITHDRAW $2800.00 TO WESTERN UNION TO DAVID LENNOX.I HOPE THIS PEOPLE WILL GET CAUGHT.THERE IS ALOT OF VICTIM OUTTHERE...AND IM ONE OF THEM... I WILL TAKE ACTION... HOPE SOMEONE TOO
Does anyone know if there is any legal department working on this.
I have also recieved a letter. I have gone as far as depositing it. I went in today and talked with the back manager just to ensure that the funds did acutally clear. She reassured me that they had cleared and they were usally pretty good at spotting a bad scam like this. I guess she was wrong. I actually took out the 2,500 to send them but when I got to the western union location I couldn't go through with it. Something just told me not to. I have a 6 year old handicap daughter, so the thought of 255,069.00 was the best news I've had in a long time. Just the thought of a vacation.........!!! darn these people. I guess I'll be heading back to the bank to make this right. thanks everyone for the info, I just wish I would have thought of checking this out like this sooner.
I got a check from Bristol West for $3,580.90 called to get a laugh and after they tolf me to deposit the check I said I'll have my attorney call you back LOL what a scam and some unfortunate people are falling into this scam. I cannot believe Readers Digest is doing nothing about it, this is fraud!
I also received a letter from Readers Digest saying I had won 1/4 of a million, but after further investigation it too was fraudulent. The cheque was issued from Bristol West Insurance Group. Be Aware!!! they're Fake!!!!!.... Readers Digest sends their sweepstakes checks in certified letters...FYI
Dumb but fortunately not too dumb
I received the same sort of letter and check from AIG. The check had watermarks and was good enough to fool the bank. You see I even asked the teller if it was real before I deposited it. Unfortunately she agreed that it looked totally legit and I did deposit it. I spoke with both the supposed Erika Cohn and Mark Covila on the phone (only the number they gave me was 559-838-0414) and immediately realized that this was not how Readers Digest would handle the process for prize redemption. That's when I got on the internet and found out it was indeed a scam. I went immediately back to my bank but because the check has not been deemed fraudulent yet, there was little I could do. They may or may not close my account despite my proactive efforts because of this check.
Fortunately I did not send them any money! Both AIG and Readers Digest should go after these people big time. Surely they can grab them picking up the money at the Western Union location under the name they gave me to send my "handling charges" to!
I recieved the same letter with a check for3460.88. The letter said to call Mark covila or Erika Cohn at 912-480-0353. When I did he told me to deposit the check in my bank so they could send me my 255,069 dollars.
I called Bristol west insurance and they did not issue a check for that sum or to me. So yes it's a big scam!
I received the same letter in the mail today that everyone is talking about. Mine said that I had won $425,069 and my check was for $3,741.02. The letter prompted me to call Mark Covila or Erika Cohn at 778-316-5007. Working with a bank I have seen many people come in and fall victim to this sort of thing all the time. Always remember, if you receive something in the mail like this 'if it looks to good to be true... IT IS!!!'
I received the same letter. My letter stated that I had won over $425,000, received a check for $3600, and so on. I had called Mark Covila(before I started reading these posts) and asked a lot of questions. I wondered how they received my information and he stated it was because I had entered a contest in a major department store, but he couldn't be sure. He said they did not and will not ask for any of my account information, but they need me to deposit the first check, have it clear, and call him when it does. Once it is cleared he will send me the rest of the funds. I did not deposit the check, but told him I did just to see what he would say. He said to call back in a day so he could go over everything with me. After reading a few posts I called him to confront him immediately. I asked him things like, "What is your website? Email? How come I am finding things on Google that are saying that this is a scam?" He said they don't have a website. He told me that there are a lot of scams out there. They are doing their best to combat this, but have not had a lot of luck. There are too many copycats. I mentioned that the sites specifically mention his name and Erika's.
The conversation continued for a while, but the bottom line is that this is a scam. My question though, what is their gain from this? They are not asking for money or account numbers. They are not asking us to send them anything. What do they get out of us depositing a check and sending them nothing? Is it just the mere satisfaction that they took advantage of people?
I received a letter from this people Readers Digest..what kind of a name is that?..so weired huh. I mean am not that stupid.On the check says its from AIG...and i search on it..its not even match. Compare sweepstakes with Insurance...omg...so stupid.
if you sent them money - you have been scammed and the check they sent you will come back as fraudulent. Hopefully your bank will only hold you responsible for returning the money and not have you arrested for passing bad checks!
The scams use familiar business names to scam you - they are not affiliated with Readers Digest or Publishers Clearinghouse at all
No legitimate sweepstakes or lottery will send you a check to pay taxes or fees with. Those taxes and fees are taken from the winnings before you receive a check.
A quick internet search on Sweepstakes or Lottery SCAMS is all it would have taken to protect yourself - but you did exactly what they wanted you to do.
Prize Offers: You Don?t Have to Pay to Play!
Prize Offers: You Don?t Have to Pay to Play!
Congratulations, it?s your lucky day! You?ve just won $5,000!
You?re guaranteed to win a fabulous diamond ring, luxury vacation or all-terrain vehicle!
If you receive a letter or phone call with a message like this, be skeptical. The $5,000 "prize" may cost you hundreds of dollars in taxes or service charges ? and never arrive. Your "fabulous" prize may not be worth collecting. The diamond is likely to be the size of a pinhead. The "vacation" could be one night in a seedy motel, and the ATV, nothing more than a lounge chair on wheels!
Scam artists often use the promise of a valuable prize or award to entice consumers to send money, buy overpriced products or services, or contribute to bogus charities. People who fall for their ploys may end up paying far more than their "prizes" are worth, if they get a prize at all.
What these people are likely to get - especially if they signed up for a contest drawing at a public place or event ? may be more than they bargained for: more promotions in the mail, more telemarketing calls and more unsolicited commercial email, or "spam." This is because many prize promoters sell the information they collect to advertisers.
Worse yet, contest entrants might subject themselves to a bogus prize promotion scam.
And The Winner Is...
Everyone loves to be a winner. A recent research poll showed that more than half of all American adults entered sweepstakes within the past year. Most of these contests were run by reputable marketers and non-profit organizations to promote their products and services. Some lucky winners received millions of dollars or valuable prizes.
Capitalizing on the popularity of these offers, some con artists disguise their schemes to look legitimate. And an alarming number of people take the bait. Every day, consumers throughout the United States lose thousands of dollars to unscrupulous prize promoters. During 1999 alone, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 10,000 complaints from consumers about gifts, sweepstakes and prize promotions. Many received telephone calls or postcards telling them they'd won a big prize - only to find out that to claim it, they had to buy something or pay as much as $10,000 in fees or other charges.
There's a big difference between legitimate sweepstakes and fraudulent ones. Prizes in legitimate contests are awarded solely by chance, and contestants don't have to pay a fee or buy something to enter or increase their odds of winning. In fraudulent schemes, however, "winners" almost always have to dip into their pockets to enter a contest or collect their "prize."
There's one notable exception: skill contests. These are puzzles, games or other contests in which prizes are awarded based on skill, knowledge or talent - not on chance. Contestants might be required to write a jingle, solve a puzzle or answer questions correctly to win.
Unlike sweepstakes, skill contests may legally require contestants to buy something or make a payment or donation to enter.
It's important to recognize that many consumers are deceptively lured into playing skill contests by easy initial questions or puzzles. Once they've sent their money and become "hooked," the questions get harder and the entry fees get steeper. Entrants in these contests rarely receive anything for their money and effort.
Several consumer laws help protect consumers against fraudulent sweepstakes and prize offers promoted through the mail or by phone.
Telemarketers frequently use sweepstakes and prize contests to sell magazines or other goods and services. These telemarketers make an initial contact with consumers through "cold calls," or take calls from consumers who are responding to a solicitation they received by mail.
The Telemarketing Sales Rule helps protect consumers from fraudulent telemarketers who use prize promotions as a lure. In every telemarketing call involving a prize promotion, the law requires telemarketers to tell you:
the odds of winning a prize. If the odds can't be determined in advance, the promoter must tell you the factors used to calculate the odds.
that you don't have to pay a fee or buy something to win a prize or participate in the promotion.
if you ask, how to participate in the contest without buying or paying anything.
what you'll have to pay or the conditions you'll have to meet to receive or redeem a prize.
The Telemarketing Sales Rule prohibits telemarketers from misrepresenting any of these facts, as well as the nature or value of the prizes. It also requires telemarketers who call you to pitch a prize promotion to tell you before they describe the prize that you don't have to buy or pay anything to enter or win.
Many sweepstakes promotions arrive by mail as a letter or postcard that instructs the consumer to respond by return mail or phone to enter a contest or collect a prize.
The Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act helps protect consumers against fraudulent sweepstakes promotions sent through the mail. The law prohibits:
claims that you're a winner unless you've actually won a prize.
requirements that you buy something to enter the contest or to receive future sweepstakes mailings.
the mailing of fake checks that don't clearly state that they are non-negotiable and have no cash value.
seals, names or terms that imply an affilia-tion with or endorsement by the federal government.
Skill contests also are covered by the new Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act. The law requires the sponsors to disclose in a clear and conspicuous way:
the terms, rules and conditions of the contest.
how many rounds of the contest you must achieve to win the grand prize.
the time frame for the winner to be determined.
the name of the contest's sponsor.
an address where you can reach the sponsor to request that your name be removed from the mailing list.
Just Say "No"
Another way to protect yourself is to request that your name be removed from mail and telephone solicitation lists.
The Telemarketing Sales Rule requires telemarketers to keep a "do not call" list of consumers who have asked not to be called again. Calling a consumer who has made this request is illegal and can subject the telemarketer to a hefty fine.
The Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act requires companies that use direct mail to maintain a similar "do not mail" list for consumers who call or write and ask that their name be removed from the mailing list.
This new law gives caregivers the right to have the names of the friends and loved ones under their care removed from the mailing lists of undesirable solicitors.
Another way to reduce mail and telephone solicitations is to contact the Direct Marketing Association to request that your name be placed on its "do not call," "do not mail" and "do not email" lists. Association members agree not to solicit consumers who have requested that they not be contacted.
To have your name removed from direct mail marketing lists, write: Direct Marketing Association, Preference Service Manager, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036-6700. To have your name removed from telemarketing lists, write: Direct Marketing Association, Preference Service Manager, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036-6700. To "opt out" of receiving unsolicited commercial email, use the DMA's form at www.e-mps.org.
A Dozen Ways to Protect Yourself
The next time you get a "personal" letter or telephone call telling you "it?s your lucky day," the Federal Trade Commission encourages you to remember that:
Legitimate sweepstakes don?t require you to pay or buy something to enter or improve your chances of winning, or to pay "taxes" or "shipping and handling charges" to get your prize. If you have to pay to receive your "prize," it?s not a prize at all.
Sponsors of legitimate contests identify themselves prominently; fraudulent promoters are more likely to downplay their identities. Legitimate promoters also provide you with an address or toll-free phone numbers so you can ask that your name be removed from their mailing list.
Bona fide offers clearly disclose the terms and conditions of the promotion in plain English, including rules, entry procedures, and usually, the odds of winning.
It?s highly unlikely that you?ve won a "big" prize if your notification was mailed by bulk rate. Check the postmark on the envelope or postcard. Also be suspicious of telemarketers who say you?ve won a contest you can?t remember entering.
Fraudulent promoters might instruct you to send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier to enter a contest or claim your "prize." This is a favorite ploy for con artists because it lets them take your money fast, before you realize you?ve been cheated.
Disreputable companies sometimes use a variation of an official or nationally recognized name to give you confidence in their offers. Don?t be deceived by these "look-alikes." It?s illegal for a promoter to misrepresent an affiliation with ? or an endorsement by ? a government agency or other well-known organization.
It?s important to read any written solicitation you receive carefully. Pay particularly close attention to the fine print. Remember the old adage that "the devil is in the details."
Agreeing to attend a sales meeting just to win an "expensive" prize is likely to subject you to a high-pressure sales pitch.
Signing up for a sweepstakes at a public location or event, through a publication or online might subject you to unscrupulous prize promotion tactics. You also might run the risk of having your personal information sold or shared with other marketers who later deluge you with offers and advertising.
Some contest promoters use a toll-free "800" number that directs you to dial a pay-per-call "900" number. Charges for calls to "900" numbers may be very high.
Disclosing your checking account or credit card account number over the phone in response to a sweepstakes promotion ? or for any reason other than to buy the product or service being sold ? is a sure-fire way to get scammed in the future.
Your local Better Business Bureau and your state or local consumer protection office can help you check out a sweepstakes promoter?s reputation. Be aware, however, that many questionable prize promotion companies don?t stay in one place long enough to establish a track record, and the absence of complaints doesn?t necessarily mean the offer is legitimate.
To File a Complaint
Consumers who believe they have been victimized by fraudulent promotional offers also should contact their local postmaster or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by phone, toll-free, at: 1-888-877-7644; by email at: www.uspsoig.gov; or by mail at: U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Office of Inspector General, Operations Support Group, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL 60606-6100.
If you have a problem with a sweepstakes or prize promotion after participating, and you are unable to resolve the problem directly with the company, contact:
The Direct Marketing Association, ConsumerLine, 1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036-3603; phone 202-955-5030; fax 202-955-0085.
The Better Business Bureau where the company is located.
Call for Action, a network of radio and television station hotlines that offer resolution services for consumers. Call 301-657-7490 or write: Call for Action, 5272 River Road, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20816.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
They sent me a letter telling me to call this number and provided a check to cover tax charges, Mark Covila was the man's name on the other end of the phone, he had me send money off to other people.
I recieved a letter from Reader's Digest stating that I won 255,000. The letter looked legit but to make sure I looked up the address provided on the top of the letter 1125 16th Ave., Houston TX which there is an address there but the zip code was 33412 (That being Flordia's zip code) The tel/fax number provided (559-838-0991) is California's area code. My aunt found this posting and I'm glad I checked into it before depositing the check. It was to good to be true!!!!! At the end of the letter they told me to call this number (778-863-3454, Canada area code) and contact Mark Covila or Erika Cohn to activate my claim. There's no reason to do that. I advise anyone who recieves mail like this to check it out on the internet!!!!!!!!!