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Police chief warns of check scams

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By Alice Du Pont

Quincy Police Chief Ferman Richardson is warning citizens that they should not let their guard down when it comes to check scams.

"People are still trying to cash those checks that are coming in the mail. I want to make sure our citizens are aware that if they have not played the lottery, they are not winning a lottery and that it is unlikely that someone in a foreign country has left them a lot of money. If they have any doubt, we want them to bring the check to the police station and, whatever they do, don't deposit it in the bank," Richardson said.

On Wednesday afternoon a local senior resident walked into the police department with an official-looking check made out to her in the amount of $4,950. The woman had received a similar check and letter 3 months ago.

The letter, with a "Citi Financial" logo across the top began with:

"Dear Lucky Winner: We are pleased to inform you of the BC Lottery Sweepstake's a result held on the 15th Nov. 2008. The ticket attached to your name drew the winning number, making you a winner in the second category of the North American Sweepstakes. We are therefore obliged to inform you that you have been declared a grand prize winner of ($125,000) ."

The letter advised the woman to keep the notification and to send $3,950 of the $4,950 by Money Gram to her claim's attorney.

"People are still depositing these checks and losing their money. No one is giving away money," he said.

If anyone has any questions about a check they received in the mail, call the Quincy Police Department at 627-7111.