Don’t Cash Checks From Lotteries That You Never Entered

You’ve probably heard this message before, but in our opinion, consumers can’t really hear it too many times. If you receive a mysterious check in the mail, don’t cash it until you determine that its origins are legit. If you hear that you’ve won a lottery that you never entered, you probably never entered it. When you win the real lottery, you don’t need to pay processing fees to get your money.

This review isn’t just Consumer 101: it’s remedial consumer training. Yet this training session is brought to you by a St. Louis couple who received an unexpected check for $4,350, the first of their alleged $250,000 lottery winnings. To claim their prize, they simply had to deposit the check and wire money back to the lottery commission. You know, to cover the fees.

Unfortunately, people still fall for these scams, and the elderly in particular are frequent victims. “At our age, we’re not as sharp as we were when we were younger, and I think we’re pretty trusting as a generation, so that’s too bad,” lamented the woman who received that $4,350 check.

Check fraud scam targeting the elderly [KTVI]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.