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Is this Fraud or a Hoax?

  Author:  63241  Category:(Discussion) Created:(4/28/2008 4:36:00 PM)
This post has been Viewed (1617 times)

Today I received in the mail a letter from Trinity Financial Award Inc. based in Toronto, Ontario, with a check enclosed for $3,950.00. They state in the letter that I won a SWEEPSTAKES conducted through a random computer ballot system.

They state that the amount I received was a lump sum of $125,000. The reason why the check is $2,925.00 OVER my winnings is to enable me to pay the applicable government taxes. "Taxes cannot be deducted directly from the winning amount because of the insurance bond coverage."(?)

They give me a contact number for a claim agent who will give me further instructions on how to claim my prize.

**My question, is this one of those fraud situations where I end up losing money instead of being "awarded" a prize? I can't help but wonder if the reason why this comes from Canada is so the U.S. Postal Inspectors can't bring up any fraud charges outside of the states. I can't help but be skeptical as nothing in life comes free.

Please help me out here folks!!

Thanks!!

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Replies:      
Date: 4/28/2008 4:38:00 PM  From Authorid: 23075    It's just a scam. Throw it out.  
Date: 4/28/2008 4:39:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    I called the number listed and was informed that the electronic message box was full...call again later.  
Date: 4/28/2008 4:41:00 PM  From Authorid: 12072    scam, check out this link: http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Trinity+Financial+Award+Inc.%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&client=firefox-a  
Date: 4/28/2008 4:43:00 PM  From Authorid: 64365    It's fraud, sweetie. I got one similar to it a few years back before I knew better, and was really disappointed to discover online that it was a hoax. All of these things are documented on email scam sites. Just type in email scams into your search browser and you'll find it.  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:02:00 PM  From Authorid: 10657    I would turn it into local government officials and have them check it out for you if, it turns out to be good then, it is still yours. I wouldn't put it into your bank account either until, you know for sure. With many you get the money and start to spend it only to find out 15 days later it was a fraud making you responsible for anything you spent.  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:04:00 PM  From Authorid: 36901    I got something like that in the mail a few weeks ago. I threw it away. I assumed it was bogus.  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:13:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Becky, I tried to access the website but all I get is a blank page. Thanks anyway.  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:15:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Nani, I tried to find a website that lists Trinity Financial Award Inc. as a scam and can't find one. I don't know what to think.  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:17:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Texas Angi, I'm not doing anything with this check until I've thoroughly checked around with government. I plan to report them if it's a fraud...don't know if that will make them stop but hoping they'll leave me alone!  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:18:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    I understand, Apryl. More than likely I'll be throwing this away too.  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:19:00 PM  From Authorid: 10657    I found an article on one that says the award letter says you are suppossed to moneygram them with a named certain amount and you keep the rest?? Have you looked on snopes?  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:19:00 PM  From Authorid: 63265    I had that once. Check for $1,900. They wanted me to cash it and pay the taxes of $400 or something (mailed directly to them) and keep the rest. I spoke with my bank. The routing number was off. If I had gone through with this, some jerk would have got $400 of my money and I'd be out $1,900 total. So I'd call the bank and have them look up the routing number where the check is from. They have a huge book that has all that information in it. I'm sure they can help!  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:21:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Thanks Callie! I'm going to call the bank in the a.m. & check this out!!  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:22:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    I'll look on Snopes right now TexasAngi! Thanks!!  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:34:00 PM  From Authorid: 62579    It is a SCAM!! Look at my post about the same thing http://www.unsolvedmysteries.com/usm460049.html  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:39:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Yes, TexasAngi, I just looked on Snopes and even though Trinity Financial Award Inc. is not listed, they reported about a line that is frequently stated in these frauds..."this should be kept away from publicity to avoid any fraudulant act or double claim until your funds are remitted to you."  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:40:00 PM  From Authorid: 16865    FRAUD! It's fraud! http://preview.tinyurl.com/4jnsmg This link will take you to the tinyurl page where you can see the link that I found on it. Google the company name in quotes... like this... "Company name Inc" and you will get two links. Scams like this work because it is a bad check. You send them money, then their check bounces and you are left responsible for the thousands of dollars your account doesn't have anymore.  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:43:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    I read it Becky!! Thanks!!  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:44:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Angel in the Attic, I thought I read another post about this and I couldn't find it!! I've read your post & the website info!! Thanks!!  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:47:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Thanks Dotchi!! It's a shame that these people are continuing to do business. Obviously some people are being fooled like this and these companies are making money or they would stop!! This is a terrible shame!!  
Date: 4/28/2008 5:50:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Time and Time again USMers have come through for me by answering questions and giving advice!! This time is NO EXCEPTION!! Thanks to all of you who responded and enlightened me!! USM is the right place to be for me!! ((((HUGE HUGS)))) to ALL!!   
Date: 4/28/2008 6:32:00 PM  From Authorid: 49689    The check is a fake, not only will you lose the money when the bank finds out, you will be responsible for paying it back..Burn it,shred it,but don't try and cash it..Just get rid of it!  
Date: 4/28/2008 6:41:00 PM  From Authorid: 28848    yes its a scam. you cash the check at your bank, send them the extra aside from your "winnings". By that time the check comes back as a fake and your stuck with the bill plus you're out of the $2925 that you sent back to them. Contact the better business bureau and your local police. They like to be made aware of scams like this going around in your area so they can alert the public.  
Date: 4/28/2008 7:04:00 PM  From Authorid: 40145    scam  
Date: 4/28/2008 7:18:00 PM  From Authorid: 21764    my sources say yes, probably.  
Date: 4/28/2008 8:12:00 PM  From Authorid: 63077    Yeah, you'll deposit the check and send them the money for the "difference," only to find that the check is no good and you're out the amount of the "taxes and fees." Don't do it.  
Date: 4/28/2008 10:34:00 PM  From Authorid: 47218    You won a sweepstakes that you never even entered? Rest assured, it's some kind of ruse. Sweepstakes exist to promote some kind of product or service and have astronomical odds of winning. Clearinghouse sweepstakes exists to sell magazines to people. There's no such thing as an organization that exists just to pull people's names randomly out of a database and give them free money for the heck of it.  
Date: 4/28/2008 10:57:00 PM  From Authorid: 61847    My hubby got one a few months ago. It was a scam. The first thing to think about is, did you remember entering ANY sweepstakes. Sounds like a scam, report it and move on!! *hugs*  
Date: 4/29/2008 12:02:00 AM  From Authorid: 63011    I'm betting it's a fraud. I get things like this sometimes. I just throw them away.  
Date: 4/29/2008 12:04:00 AM  From Authorid: 63011    There's a scam forum called scam.com. You might be able to find it on there.  
Date: 4/29/2008 4:26:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    But Pyriel, I want to report these folks so I'm keeping this check & letter as proof! They MUST be making money from some other folks because they still do it!  
Date: 4/29/2008 4:27:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Yes ReleaseMe, I plan to call the bank as soon as it opens this a.m. and ask them what I should do.  
Date: 4/29/2008 4:29:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    ShortMuffin, I wasn't sure at all when I posted this, hoping that somehow I'd finally won something but these crooks are counting on people to believe their scam!! It's a shame!!  
Date: 4/29/2008 4:29:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Bunches, I believe you're right.  
Date: 4/29/2008 4:31:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    USMC, I really wasn't sure when I posted this but I'm glad to find out before I fell for the scam!!  
Date: 4/29/2008 4:33:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Mollycat, I was suspicious since I never entered any sweepstakes in Canada. I guess that's why so many people play the lottery, everybody has that glimmer of hope that one day they'll get that windfall. Guess that's what these scammers are counting on.  
Date: 4/29/2008 4:35:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Yes, AngelGurl, I plan to report these folks. I was suspicious because I never entered a sweepstakes in Canada. Then I remembered somebody here at USM (AngelintheAttic) posted a story about a scam like this. I find it interesting that these scams originate outside the U.S.  
Date: 4/29/2008 4:36:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    GreenClover, I found it and the amount of money involved in this scam was exactly the amount I was told I had won!  
Date: 4/29/2008 4:41:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Thanks USMers for helping me out here like you always do!! You folks are GREAT!!  
Date: 4/29/2008 5:25:00 AM  From Authorid: 64498    If you have a better business bureau check with them or if you have an attorney general check with them do not do anything they want with this I think it is a fraud  
Date: 4/29/2008 7:41:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Thanks BunnyMom! I plan to report them. This is a shame!! I called the company last night and this very young girl answered in a very sleepy voice, "Hello?" I told her I thought this was a business office by the name of Trinity Financial Award Inc. She replied "Yes it is." The girl could hardly speak english and she acted so "out of it" I suspected fraud simply by the way she was talking, very unprofessional. What a rip-off!!  
Date: 4/29/2008 4:37:00 PM  From Authorid: 49689    and they are doing it out of the boundries of the US.So who exactly are you going to report them to? The FTC can't touch them,the BBB could care less,technically they haven't commited a crime in Canada so they're not gonna care..Maybe the Postal Service might care,but I doubt that as well.  
Date: 4/29/2008 7:05:00 PM  From Authorid: 47218    Pyriel, I'm betting that this is as illegal in Canada as it is in the U.S.  
Date: 4/30/2008 6:06:00 AM  From Authorid: 49689    Might be but as long as they aren't mailing them to Canadian Addresses what crime have they comitted in Canada?  
Date: 4/30/2008 8:52:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Pyriel, I just got off the phone with the FDIC and OCC regarding this letter & check. After giving them all the information from the check & letter (which they entered into their computer), they informed me that Canada has recently started working with the U.S. to investigate scams like this and charge them with fraud.  
Date: 4/30/2008 8:55:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 63241    Mollycat, I agree! I feel sorry for the individuals who fell for the scam...from what I understand it's usually the elderly. If it didn't work, these scammers wouldn't do it.  

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