Marco Island, Fla. - A Marco Island woman almost got duped by a phony Publishers Clearing House Scam. The crooks are so good, they sent a real check.
"Here it says Publishers Clearing House. You hear that on television all the time," Viginia Bingle explains.
It's a familiar name, but when Bingle opened her mailbox and saw she was a winner, she didn't take it very seriously.
"Oh yeah right, I won a million dollars."
But, Bingle started to take a closer look at the nearly $6,000 check and didn't see the usual red flags. "Do not attempt to cash this, this is a facsimile of what your check will look like," she says are the things she was looking for.
That's because this check is real.
Keith Dameron at Iberia Bank in Marco knows a scam when he sees one, but even he says this check looks legit. That is until he checked with the bank where the check came from.
The branch president told Dameron all the information on the check is real, but the account is closed.
So how does the scam work? Dameron says the victim will cash the check and then follow the instructions they get after calling the number on the fake Publishers Clearing House letter. Normally, telling the victim to wire back part of the check to cover fees; all before they know the check hasn't cleared.
Dameron also says the bank where the check came from told him they have had several checks for this account come through. The bank traced the account back to a small supply company near the bank that didn't know someone had stolen their account information.