The scam letter appears to come from a business called Commerce Clearing House, Inc. The letter comes with a check for $3,875. That's the money the recipient is supposed to pay on taxes in order to get a 55-thousand dollar sweepstakes prize.
The letter was mailed from Canada, and it says to cash the check and wire that amount via money gram at Wal-Mart. This is a scam.
Anytime you're asked to cash a check and wire money, beware. If you think there's no harm in cashing or depositing a check you receive, think again. If it's fake, the bank may charge you for the amount of the check, in the case, $3,875. Bank tellers can't always tell if a check is fake right away.
Our thanks to Shelia Gambill in Dudley and William Williams of the Goose Creek area in Carteret County for passing this along.