OFIR Issues Alert on Fake Insurance Company Checks (Monitor: April 26, 2010)
The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) and Allstate Insurance Company announced April 21 that they are working together to warn consumers of an international mail fraud scheme.
An OFIR employee received a counterfeit check that appeared to originate from Allstate. The fraudulent check was issued for $4,970.20 and came with a letter informing the recipient that they had won a $250,000 “Consumer’s Promotion Draw” for consumers who shop at a number of major stores.
Recipients are told that to receive the $250,000 prize, they must cash the check and then send $4,970.20 by Moneygram or Western Union to an address located in Tacoma, WA. If a consumer were to cash the phony check, they could find themselves owing their bank more than $4,900.
The individuals sending these letters and counterfeit checks have no affiliation with Allstate and are illegally using the company’s name.
“This is a classic advance fee scam where consumers are enticed into paying upfront fees for a prize they never get in return," said OFIR Commissioner Ken Ross. "The twist here is the scammers are trying to fool consumers by using the good name of an insurance company. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Click here to view the fraudulent letter and check. View the full news release from OFIR here.