(Napa, Calif--) Recently a Napa resident received a letter from "Pinnacle Financial Services" notifying the resident they had won the "UK & North America Consumer Reward Promotion Draw." The Scammers stated this was organized for all customers of Wal-Mart, Sears, Home Depot, Safeway and ASDA.
The winner was guaranteed a sum of $50,000 (Certified Check). Enclosed was a check for $3,100 for partial payment, intended to offset the Non-British Resident tax payment of $1,950. The letter directed the winner to contact a Claims Representative through a provided telephone number.
If you received such a solicitation and follow the directions and contact the Claims Representative, you would then be advised to send a cashier's check through Western Union to a specific location for $1,950 and to cash the the $3,100 check. If you cash the $3,100 check, your banking insitution will generally hold the funds for seven days and then ultimately notify you the check is fraudulent. You would then go from believing you had won $50,000 to actually being scammed out of $1,950.
According to the U.S. Postal Inspectors, this Foreign Lottery Scam is being run out of Jamaica. The Postal Department works with the Jamaican authorities in attempt to prosecute the individuals behind this scam.
District Attorney Gary Lieberstein said, "I want to warn Napa County residents not to fall for this Foreign Lottery Scam or similar type mail or telephone scams. I suggest you abide by this tried and true maxim: 'If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true.'"
Fortunately, the victim in this local case was immediately suspicious of this being a scam and contacted the District Attorney's office.
The Napa District Attorney has scam prevention brochures available at our office, 931 Parkway Mall, which provide residents information on Mail & Telephone Fraud. You can also receive information through the U.S. Postal Service at their website: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/ or telephone them at (877) 876-2455.