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.