The Clovis Police Department asks that the public please be cautious when contacted by phone or mail solicitors about financial schemes promising large amounts of money in exchange for sending money by Western Union or some other money transfer instrument to cover foreign taxes or secure a prize. Most of these fraud schemes are taking place outside of the United States in foreign countries, which makes it very difficult for law enforcement to ever catch the culprits and once the money has been sent by a fraud victim it is most likely unrecoverable.
Some current fraud activity in the Clovis area has been taking place by both telephone solicitations as well as by mail. One such scam has been coming in from Jamaica in which a person calls promising that you have won money and need to go to a Western Union, usually located in a Wal-Mart Store, and send money to an address in Birmingham, Alabama in order to secure a check worth millions of dollars. In another letter type scam, the scam artists are sending out a letter on “TDC Financial Trust” letterhead with no return address on the envelope. The letter claims that the addressee has won a large amount of money from a consumer promotion drawing in Canada, which they never entered. This letter says that the prize payment is from Canada so they also enclose a check for money to pay for the “Non-Resident Canadian Tax”. The letter further advises the person to contact the “Claim Agent” for directions. They then direct you to cash the check, which is worthless, and then send the amount by “MONEYGRAM” to a Canadian Tax Agent. If a person does this, the scam artist is getting the money the victim sent by MONEYGRAM and the bank holds the victim liable in their account for cashing the worthless fraudulent check.
If you receive any such phone calls or mail solicitations saying you have won money in a drawing or contest, we ask that you try and get a call back number from either your Caller ID or ask the person for a call back number and that you prefer to check the organization out before agreeing to send any money. Then report the phone number to the Clovis Police Department. The phone numbers and addresses are most likely fictitious, but could give authorities some trail to follow up on to pass on to the Federal Trade Commission, which serves as the national clearing house for reporting such fraudulent activity occurring in the United States. REMEMBER, IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS! SAFEGUARD YOUR MONEY!