Fort Worth police say crooks have put a new twist on a popular scheme to steal money from unsuspecting victims.
Police said residents first receive a letter in the mail stating they’ve won $250,000. Enclosed with the letter is a check written for $2,870 which is meant to cover the "processing fee" of $2,510 for winning the larger prize.
The "winner" is then instructed to deposit the check into his or her personal bank account and then immediately make a withdrawal to and put that money in another account -- thereby paying their "processing fee" for winning the prize.
Typically, in a few days, the victim is then contacted by their bank who says the check they deposited for $2,870 is a fake and that the bank has taken back their money and left the victim on the hook for the lost cash.
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Victims also soon learn they are likely no longer be able to contact the sweepstakes company and that they've been a victim of a scheme.
Police say this scheme has ran in many different ways, but generally involves the victim deposting a check into their bank account and then immediately withdrawing money to send somewhere else.
If you have a question about a check, experts recommend people ask the bank to verify the funds for deposit or to check with the issuing bank to verify the check's authenticity.