Global Health Inc. Sweepstakes - scam?

I got a letter in the mail today from “Global Health Inc.” together with a check for $5,055.00. The letter states that I won some sweepstakes (which for the record I did not enter). They also seem to be saying I owe some tax ($2,955) which they want me to send them; I assume that’s the scam part.

Any reason I shouldn’t just cash the check and not send them anything?

Is this a known scam?

It’s a known kind of scam, yes.

The cheque will probably bounce and you won’t find this out for several weeks . By this time the scammers hope you have sent them the “tax”.

This seem to be similar to another scam were people who advertise expensive items on Ebay such as a car. They receive a letter saying that the buyer will be sending you a third-party cheque of higher value than the cost of the sale. They will ask you to cash the cheque, send the car to them plus the cash difference. A few weeks down the line you will be informed by your bank that the cheque has bounced. So you are left minus the car and the cash you sent to the scammer.

Yes, it’s a scam. I recieved one similar to yours a while back, including a check for $35,000. I emailed the name on the check and sure enough it was a forgery. The posters above are correct.

Thanks all! So, is there some kind of authority I can report this to? Maybe like the Postmaster General or Secret Service or something? I feel like this could be evidence used against the scammer or to help find and catch them.

So let’s say you THINK it is a scam but have no proof. You cash it at a check-cashing establishment and it bounces.

  1. Have you broken any laws?
  2. Will the check-cashing establishment come back after you for the funds?

Just trying to cash a check isn’t illegal, unless you know it’s bad. But if you have suspicions you ought to take the subject up with the bank manager. He can verify whether or not the check account is good.

Why bother? There are literally thousands of these going out every day (I get one almost every other week), and the authorities are far too busy to pay much attention to this. Especially when that iffy part about “find and catch them” is so unlikely.

Locally, bank tellers are becoming used to this, enough that they will stop customers from depositing such checks in their account. They ask the customer if they are sure this check is legitimate and not a forgery, and point out that they will be charged fees by the bank if it turns out to be a forgery.

The tellers are especially careful to warn them when the customer says ‘I want to deposit this check for $5,500 and then get a cashiers check for $2,995’ – tellers can recognize this scam.

Surprisingly enough, some customers get angry with the teller who tells them this. As if it was the teller preventing them from getting the thousands of dollars that came in the mail! Some people are not only gullible, but stubbornly insistent on being gullible.

Wouldn’t any legitimate sweepstakes of this sort (if any were to actually exist of course) just deduct the tax from the winnings? Isn’t that what real lotteries do? What possible (bogus) rationale is there for charging a fee like this to collect the jackpot?

Sometimes the checking account is good, but the check writer is not the owner of the account and the end result is the same although it seems legit at first blush.

I might report it to the authorities, but I would probably just toss it. I wouldn’t try to cash it or even take it to the bank because the chances you will somehow end up being hassled are far greater than the chances that you will ever get anything out of this.

Another type of scam email to look out for are fake job adverts. These offer part-time jobs for “account managers” or similar titles to take in payments from clients, process them and keep a percentage of the money. What they are actually doing is getting you to act as a “mule” to launder money from criminal activities. If the cops catch up with you you can be prosecuted for aiding and abetting criminal activity.

One such scam at the moment is from the “Sydney Car Centre” which is supposed to be operating out of Australia. They have even cloned the genuine website of a reputable car dealer in England called the “Stratford Car Centre” to try and give it some credibility. But as usual the crooks have made a couple of basic errors. For instance the fake-website has “£” when Australia uses the dollar, and “miles” when Australia uses kms.

The English on the email is very strange , for instance we have “Today the Sydney Car Centre is looking for an industrious regional assistant to fasten the process of the delivery of customer payments to the suppliers” . I know they talk different in Australia , but not that different