The notification includes a “first payout” check in the amount of $750,000.
The letter says that the “winner” is required to call a certain phone before depositing the check.
“This is a scam,” said Patterson. “When the person calls the number, they are charged an exorbitant amount of money. Usually the calls go to Jamaica or somewhere in the Bahamas. The longer they can keep you on the phone, the more money they will make from your call.”
Patterson also said the checks are from outside the country, and usually for more money than the payout is suppose to be for.
“That's when they ask you to send them back a check for the extra amount. By the time the ‘prize' check comes back insufficient, the victim has already sent the company a real check for a lot of money,” Patterson said. “The victim can be left in a very bad situation.”
Patterson said that although this isn't the first time such a scam has hit Altus, the current letters are being sent from North Star Cash Lottery in Canada.
“We can't tell the public not to call these people or deposit their checks, but we highly advise against it,” said Patterson. “These people are just preying on people's greed and hoping they will be too embarrassed to report that they fell for it.”