Computer Crime Research Center


Phishing scams: processing fees

Date: May 02, 2006

When Antioch resident Keith Kelpsas received a congratulations letter in the mail, he thought his ship had finally come in.

He believed he had won a $100,000 sweepstakes from something called North American Commission House, and all he had to do to claim his prize was pay about $2,800 in "processing" fees.

But wait, there's more. The letter even came with the $2,900 check to cover the fees.

"At first I was ready to go right to the bank and cash that check, oh yeah, but the more I read the letter, the more I thought things weren't quite right," he said.

The scam of requesting "processing fees" in return for a large cash prize is old hat, police say. But in a twist, the crooks who came after Kelpsas actually send fraudulent checks to their potential victims to make the con seem more legitimate.

People who get the letters and checks are unaware the check is fraudulent and go to the bank to cash it. Often in an effort to get their prize money back as soon as possible, then victims pay the processing fee with their own money, assuming the check will cover the fees when it clears, he said.
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2006-05-27 20:16:30 - Hey! I got the same check me thinking the... lizzet
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