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Scam seen in the area

Fake checks mailed to residents

May 13, 2010
STURBRIDGE — The Sturbridge Police Department issued a warning Monday night alerting people to a scam aiming to steal money under the guise of a shoppers lottery.

Sgt. Michael Blanchard of the Sturbridge Police Department said he has received a handful of reports in recent days of residents being notified via U.S. Mail of the lottery, which according to the letters is supposedly drawn from customers of stores such as Wal-Mart, Sears and Home Depot.

Enclosed with the notification printed on Wegmans Incorporated letterhead, is a fraudulent check in the amount of $2,700 and instructions of how to contact a claims agent to pay the bonds fee required to collect the alleged winning. The letter goes on to entice people into cooperation by promising an additional $100,000 once initial transactions are complete.

According to Blanchard, the checks people are receiving are fake, and that no money will follow the winner's — or in this case the victim's — bonds fee.

Blanchard said it also appears as though the target population of the scam is the elderly.

"It's the vulnerable people they go after," Blanchard said.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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