Providence? Or Scaminence?
April 22, 2011 3:16 PM   Subscribe

Providence? Or Scaminence?

So I come home today and in the mail is a letter telling me I've won a substantial sum of money. I know. Bear with me. It says I've won a lesser prize in the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes and I should call to have them set up delivery of a certified check. I live in the US and the letter came from Canada.

Strange thing #1: I never entered such a sweepstakes.
Strange thing #2: Included in the letter is a check for, let's say $1,000 and change, made out to me, drawn from a well-known national US bank. I'm told it's for me to use to pay something called the Non-Resident Government Service Tax (HST) and Insurance.

That's it. No small type. No markings. No condo sales pitch. My Spidey senses are tingling but I can't parse why that would be. I'm tempted to cash the check tomorrow to see if it clears and then call.

So hive mind, am I missing something? Or did the kid's college tuition just get a little easier?

Is this weird? Or weirdly wonderful?

posted by lpsguy to Work & Money (6 answers total)
ah Grasshopper, don't do it.
it is indeed too good to be true:
posted by calgirl at 3:20 PM on April 22, 2011

Scam. They'll ask you to send them some amount of the check, it'll bounce and you'll be liable. Even if they don't ask for some of it back, it'll still bounce. Shred it all.
posted by Etrigan at 3:21 PM on April 22, 2011

Here's some info on the scam from the PCH page.
posted by thebrokedown at 3:21 PM on April 22, 2011

One of the first things that all the scam advice sites tell you is, you can't win a sweepstakes or lottery that you didn't enter.
posted by Melismata at 6:38 PM on April 22, 2011

Response by poster: You guys are amazing. I knew you'd have the answer. This just seemed too odd. Now, I have to think if there's a way I can play with these people a little.

I owe you all a beer. I'll send you a check for the beer taxes. Then you send a check back to me.

That's what you call a long con.
posted by lpsguy at 9:35 AM on April 23, 2011

If you want to play with scammers, check out Scamorama or 419 Eater.
posted by Melismata at 11:39 AM on April 27, 2011

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