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Orange County Sheriff Warns Of Check-In-The-Mail Fraud

Last updated on Monday, September 17, 2007

(ORANGE COUNTY) - Orange County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Bill Fullington is cautioning people to read what they get in the mail very carefully.

In a new version of an old internet scam, an Orange County resident reportedly received a letter from a company called United Global Award, Inc., saying he had won $125,000. The letter even included a check for $4,650 to cover taxes! Great news, right?

All the winner had to do was wire the tax amount of $2,875 to United Global Award for them to activate the check!

And that's where the scam is.

Of course, the check is a fake and that so-called tax money you wired out gets lost in the ether.

Previous versions of the scam usually involved a rich Nigerian prince, or a lottery you somehow won out of East Outer Mongolia. But these usually come through e-mail, not in your mailbox with a legitimate-looking check.

Officer Fullington says that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and that a legitimate sweepstakes will not require the winner to pay anything before receiving the prize.

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