Beware of check scam targeting Crowley citizens
By Howell Dennis
CROWLEY – Area residents should beware of a scam involving a mailer which informs people that they are the winner of a $100,000 drawing. The package contains a check for $3,550 of which the “prize winners” are supposed to send in a tax payment of $2,950.
The catch is that the lucky winners are supposed to send in the payment before the check they received can be processed.
“Yeah, this is definitely a scam,” said Kathy Farmer of the Better Business Bureau. “People should wonder how they’ve won a drawing that they never entered.”
Darrell Jackson of Crowley received a letter from an attorney calling himself Alen Argenti of Troy, Alabama. Mr. Argenti, who uses a post office box on his letterhead, claims to represent a British tax officer named Betty Hensley who resides in London. The letter went on to tell Jackson that to receive his $100,000 prize he must first mail in the tax payment that the check he received is supposed to cover. The problem, however, is that the tax officer doesn’t have time to wait for the check to be processed and needs to have the payment in order to release the prize winnings.
“I figured something was fishy so I contacted the Better Business Bureau,” said Jackson. “They told me that these people were obviously up to no good.” Upon calling the claims agent who the letter tells the recipient to contact, their story begins to fall apart.
The man who answered the phone Wednesday morning said that he required a payment within the next four days in order to release Mr. Jackson’s winnings. He went on to say that the check he sent us is a show of good faith that we could trust him with our money. When informed that we weren’t Jackson and that the Better Business Bureau had informed us of his scam, he promptly hung up.
The check that Jackson received looked very genuine. It appeared to be a Regions Bank check and had all the security features that most payroll checks have. Any unknowing person could easily be fooled into thinking that it was real.
Anyone receiving a notification like this should not be tricked by its professional appearance and contact the Better Business Bureau.