Winterville Man Finds Scam In The Mail

Randy Jones of Winterville contacted WITN's "Scam Alert" about this one. Jones says he received a check in the mail for $4,970 along with a letter saying he qualified for this free financial assistance. The letter instructed him to pay a commission of $497 within five days, and referred him to the website, www.awardchecks.com. The letter said he'd been assigned to the broker, Al Snyder.

On the website, awardchecks.com, Al explains he had an emergency errand to run in Europe, so commission money needed to be wired to him overseas. That inconvenience is a big tip off that this is a scam, and the Better Business Bureau agrees.

There is a risk when you cash a check like the one Randy received in the mail, even if you have no intention of sending the commission money back. If a bank clears a counterfeit check through your account, you may have to pay that money back to the bank.

Thanks to a quick-thinking Randy Jones of Winterville for passing this along to us so we could pass it on to you.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Sue Location: PA on Jun 23, 2008 at 09:17 PM
    My husband got the check and letter from good old Al. I was batting my brains trying to get some authority to look into it but the state and local law enforcement were not interested. Nor were the TV news consumer reporters. From what I read, WAMU doesn't seem to care that someone is senting out forgeries of their checks. I do not understand how it is that this scum bag can still be up and running and no one seems to care who he scams.
  • by Bob Location: Richmond, VA on Jun 4, 2008 at 04:13 AM
    What amazes me is that the website is still up and running months after this scam was discovered. I got a check too, and if you look at it, there are no watermark or gradient color shift as there should be. That is your first indication this is a scam. This is mail fraud and probably forgery; both federal offenses. Local police did not want to touch it so I handed it over to the FBI, not that they will do anything either. Al Snyder seem to be the one signing all letters, and he's the only one with specific payment instructions in his profile (go figure). The address is a parking lot. Where "Mr. Snyder" asks you to fax the account numbers is to Indiana. The service you're using to create the fax is also a nameless bogus domain registration with a parkinglot address. Rule of thumb: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • by jim Location: pa on Jun 2, 2008 at 04:44 PM
    says thank you randy got another one today my wife tore it up
  • by Donna Location: Newport, TN on May 28, 2008 at 08:07 AM
    A friend of mine got the same letter asking for $497 commission, with broker Al Snyder. He was also in Europe and could not be reached. We tried to tell her that it is a scam, but desperate people believe what they want to believe. They target these people because they know they are more apt to believe them. It is a scam.
  • by David Location: new york on May 26, 2008 at 01:01 PM
    I got one too. If you look up the address of the company on the check (SAN LEANDRO EXPORTS)you will see it is a post office. Scam all the way.
  • by chris- Location: ---------------------------------------------- on May 23, 2008 at 01:19 PM
    i also got one of al's checks and turned it over to the f.b.i. here in seattle. since al is located in toronto,canada it is international fraud!
  • by Melissa Location: Virginia on May 22, 2008 at 03:34 PM
    Thanks Randy!! We got one of those letters in the mail too....how do these people get by with that??
  • by sv Location: Michigan on Apr 29, 2008 at 04:55 PM
    As all of you did, I received the same award letter from Global Cash Registry for the same amount. I knew it was too good to be true and it sounds like someone wants to do something illegal with our thumb prints and make a bundle of cash with people sending the $20 processing fee. The depressing part of all of this is that I really need money like that. My son has special needs, and I am really broke. I struggle everyday trying to give my son the help he needs. If I could win money like that, I could help my son who is Autistic. When I received awards letters like that in the mail, it is like a kick in the gut that I will never be able to give my son the high quality help that he requires. It is like a cruel joke. Keep your scams criminals. I do not need the aggravation. sv
  • by Ellen Location: Colorado on Apr 28, 2008 at 08:02 PM
    I received notice of winning $3,495,000. what a scam anyone that wants money sent when they can take out of winnings, do they think we're idiots. Use comman sence
  • by Fred Stevens Location: Ripley, Wv on Apr 28, 2008 at 07:14 PM
    Yea thanks thought iti was funny. to thumbprint and $20.. right off question it..
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