A warning (edited) from the state attorney general’s office and the Department of Social Services:
Attorney General George Jepsen and state Department of Social Services Commissioner Roderick Bremby are cautioning consumers about a postal scam involving fraudulent sweepstakes award notifications accompanied by a bogus government check bearing the State of Connecticut seal and purporting to be from the Department of Social Services.
The Attorney General said his Office had received several complaints about the scam. Typically the award notification arrives in an envelope stamped in another state, or another country. The notification instructs the “winner” to deposit the fraudulent check into their bank account and immediately withdraw money to wire under the pretense that the wire transfer will cover administrative fees or taxes on the purported winnings. The “check” eventually bounces and the consumer is out the full amount, including the money wired to the scammers.
“While the check may look real, it is fraudulent and should not be deposited,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “This scheme is the latest variation on the check overpayment and money-wiring scams that have plagued consumers in recent years.”
The Department of Social Services referred a complaint from a Virginia woman to the Attorney General’s Office earlier this week. The woman reported receiving an apparent check for $2,260 from DSS, and was suspicious because she had no connection with the agency.
Consumerswho receive these mailings or are victims of the scam, should report it to: Attorney.General@ct.gov or to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm. Consumers may also file a complaint with the FTC by telephone (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints) by calling the toll-free number, 1-877- 382-4357.