Tuesday, October 28, 2008

FOR A FEW MINUTES, I WAS A WEALTHY WOMAN

This Saturday I received a letter from ULTRA PROCESSING CENTER in Atlanta, Georgia along with a check for $2900. The letter said my name had been picked at random from lists that are shared for Reader's Digest, Publisher's Clearing House, etc. and I was to receive a total prize of $50,000. They stated that because the law stipulates that processing fees must come from the actual winnings, they were sending me this portion of the prize money so that the processing fee could be taken out of the total. I was told to deposit the check into a bank account bearing my name and that when I had deposited the check, I should call the 800 number provided and they would tell me the amount that I should send back to them for the purpose of processing my winnings.

As I had heard of similar scams, I had to check it out to know for sure that I was not actually a wealthy woman (all the time hoping that I was). I, of course, started with the internet, first searching for ULTRA PROCESSING CENTER in Atlanta. As I suspected there was no such place. But, wait, there were other things to check out before I knew FOR SURE that I was not financially loaded. The generator of the check was listed as CLASSIC FOODS, L.P. in Temple, TX, so I checked that as well. Again, no such place existed.

My last hope was the bank that appeared on the check as the supposed holder of the account from which the check came. That was EXTRACTO BANK also in Temple, TX. Now don't laugh (I did) seeing as I knew this was a scam that was trying to extract funds from me. Surprisingly, there were several Extracto Banks in Temple, TX, but at this point, I held no hope of this money being mine.

I then called our local police department to report the letter, and the scam was confirmed. "Ma'am, just shred the check and the letter. This is not legitimate!" But I had one more thing to do. I called the 800 number on the letter and low and behold someone answered, "Ultra Processing Center". This was so great. I was now speaking to the actual processing center as described in my letter. It now was my turn to speak, so I said, " This is Patty and I just received a check and a letter from you congratulating me on winning $50,000. Funny thing is, though, I looked up ULTRA PROCESSING CENTER and wasn't able to find you. I was just...CLICK! And there you have it. A wealthy woman no more. (SIGH)

Did want to let you all know my story. Hopefully, neither you nor someone you know has fallen prey to this kind of thing. And if you ever hear of something like this or you are contacted in much the same way, as nice as it would be to be an instant prize winner, run don't walk to the nearest shredder. It's terrible that there are people like this who will take advantage of the unsuspecting, some of whom might be in very dire straits as so many are lately. Here's my word of caution, BEWARE!

No comments: