BBB Warns of Check Scam Hitting Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/2/08

BBB Warns of Check Scam Hitting Lubbock

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The holidays are filled with a lot of good but still there are some people looking to take advantage of you and your money. NewsChannel 11's Ann Wyatt Little discovered the latest scam that looks legit. Carol Winkleman brought a check for $3962.55 and a letter she received in the mail to NewsChannel 11 to help her get some answers.

"There's a saying: if it looks too good to be true then it probably is," says Carol Winkleman.

Winkleman received this check for $3962.55 in the mail with a Tribal Fusion logo on it. While it appeared to be legitimate, Winkleman knew something wasn't right. "Well I read the letter, looked at the check and handed it to my husband and said this is a scam," she said.

Winkleman took matters into her own hands and recorded her phone conversation with a woman whose name was listed on the letter that accompanied the check.

Winkleman: "Hello may I speak to Kristina Edwards please?"
Edwards: "This is she, how can I help you?"
Winkleman: "I received a letter stating I should contact you about a check I received in the mail."
Edwards: "May I ask you a few questions? Do you remember entering a contest?"
Winkleman: "I don't know which contest it is," says Carol.
Edwards: "You must have entered Reader's Digest, Publisher's Clearing House, or online, is that a possibility?"

Carol said yes because all of those were a possibility, although she couldn't recall a specific sweepstakes that she entered. "I bet you I've spent more, or lost more money in stamps then I've ever gotten back from any of the sweepstakes -- those are legit, not this one," she said.

NewsChannel 11 took Winkleman's letter and a copy of her check to the Better Business Bureau to get some answers. " They take the name of a company with a legit address and make a legit check that says you win $57,000 hoping you go to the bank with a no good check and want you to send money in for tax purposes," says Nan Campbell of the Better Business Bureau.

"It probably came in an envelope from Canada, if I'm guessing right," says Campbell. We did some digging and the phone number provided to Winkleman in the letter has an area code that we traced to Quebec.

Wells Fargo, the innocent bank listed on the check, says they are seeing an increase in these types of scams across Texas and issued the following statement. "If we can identify a fraudulent check we do not take the check. We encourage the customer to take it to the local law enforcement agency."

NewsChannel 11 spoke with the Director of Finance for Tribal Fusion, Inc. which is a legitimate company based in California. They are aware of what they call a scam where their company logo is being used for fraudulent checks. They tell us it's been going on for the last three weeks and they have had about 100 instances and this one in Lubbock just adds to the list.

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