Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

November 19, 2012

Lottery scam surfaces in Effingham

EFFINGHAM — Local residents receiving letters saying they’ve won the lottery should think twice before collecting their prizes.

    Timothy Griffth of Effingham said he received a letter last week saying he had won a lottery in which he knew he had not entered.

    The enclosed letter said to take a check inclosed inside the letter and cash it before paying off the taxes for the winnings. Griffith then was to call a claim agent to collect his supposed prize.

    Griffith said that upon calling the claims agent, he was immediately asked for his phone number. Griffith said he asked how he had been entered for the lottery but the claim agents continued to ask for his phone number and nothing else. When Griffith hung up and then tried to call back, he said no one answered the phone.

    Sgt. Todd Ebbert, a detective with the Effingham Police Department said there was one easy clue that could have tipped Griffith off.

    “A good clue is they didn’t enter a lottery,” he said. “There’s so many different versions of the same scam.”

    Ebbert said he remembered times when Effingham residents received letters saying they won prizes and sent fees through Western Union to claim the prize. With this new scam on the rise, he encouraged residents not to cash any suspicious checks or send money through Western Union.

    “Western Union is almost impossible to track because you can pick it up anywhere in the world,” he said.

    Counterfeit money can be traced through methods such as examining the paper on which the money was printed or checking the ink used to print the bills, Ebbert said.

    Cash isn’t the only thing that can be checked for counterfeiting. Amy Kettleson, an assistant banking center manager at Midland States Bank said she could immediately tell the checks were fake

    As she ran her fingers up and down the top and bottom of the check, Kettleson frowned and said the fake check did not have perforations where it would have been torn from a stub.

    Kettleson said one indicator that a check may be fake is the typeset. With most checks being printed at the same time and with similar styles, unusual fonts can be a good sign that a check is counterfeit.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Missouri driver ejected, killed Tuesday ST. ELMO -- A driver from Missouri was killed when the semi she was driving overturned on Interstate 70 Tuesday. Royce E. Horton, 50, of Highlandville, Mo., was driving a maroon and white Freightliner truck-tractor westbound at 3:36 a.m. Tuesday on I

    April 24, 2014

  • Stew-Stras to upgrade technology STRASBURG -- With no new technology purchased since 2011, new computers will finally be coming to Stewardson-Strasburg Schools starting next year. Superintendent Michele Lindenmeyer said the district will be rolling out technology in phases over the

    April 24, 2014

  • Semi driver dead in accident on I-70

    A semi driver from Missouri was killed when their vehicle overturned on I-70 Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Shumway meth suspects plead not guilty

    Two of the four arrested in a Shumway methamphetamine bust earlier this month pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Effingham County Circuit Court.

    April 22, 2014

  • Man found dead from gunshot wound ST. ELMO -- Fayette County authorities are investigating two unrelated deaths over the weekend. Matthew Austin, 47, of St. Elmo was found dead in his pickup by a family member at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at 501 W. Cumberland Road in St. Elmo. Austin appear

    April 22, 2014

  • Library seeks community support

    With a bid letting set for September and renovation of the old Fifth Third Bank slated to begin in December, the Library Board is actively looking for community support in fundraising. 

    April 21, 2014

  • Effingham man gets five-year sentence for meth lab

    An Effingham man was sentenced to five years in prison Monday on a charge of participation in methamphetamine manufacturing.

    April 21, 2014

  • Grand jury indicts Miller on new charge

    An Effingham County grand jury indicted an Altamont man last week on drug-induced homicide charges stemming from the heroin overdose death of an Effingham woman earlier this year.

    April 21, 2014

  • Effingham woman found dead in Vandalia home

    An Effingham woman was found dead in a friend's home Saturday in Vandalia.

    April 21, 2014

  • St. Elmo man found dead of gunshot wound

    Investigations are underway after a man was found dead in a truck in St. Elmo Saturday.

    April 21, 2014

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.