The BBB of Lubbock, TX is warning consumers about a fraudulent check scheme involving a bogus check for $4789.00 made payable to various consumers that have been notified that “…the team at PUBLISHER’S CLEARING HOUSE (PCH) is thrilled to officially announce your name as the…winner of the 15 Million Dollars Grand Prize Draw, sponsored by Martha Stewart Living Magazine…” The check is drawn on a company by the name of Rachels Fine Fabrics with an address in Lubbock using the Lubbock National Bank as the institution.
The notification goes on to let the recipient know that PCH has made all the arrangements for the recipient to receive their prize – even enclosing a certified check to “cover any outstanding fees that has not been paid by PCH directly.” Recipients are further instructed to contact their representative BEFORE depositing the check – a Mr. Stanley Bourne 888.689.8655 ext 1 Barbara Harris, owner of the real Rachael’s Fine Fabrics, has received numerous calls from consumers across the nation regarding the fake checks. All of the checks are written for the same amount and the signature appears to be a rubber stamp with the same name on each check. Ms. Harris and BBB are encouraging consumers to contact their local police if they receive these checks.
BBB warns consumers to be aware that other company names can be used in these check scams. If you enter and win a Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes, the check will be drawn on a Publisher’s Clearing House account– not another company’s account.
The BBB and State Attorneys General offer tips to evaluate the legitimacy of checks you receive from individuals or businesses that you do not know:
Contact BBB for a report on the company named in the sweepstakes BEFORE you deposit the check.
Verify that the check is drawn from an actual account at a legitimate financial institution. Do not rely on the telephone number listed on the check. Use directory assistance to get the telephone number of the financial institution and call them to verify the check.
If you have any questions about whether a transaction is legitimate, talk to your bank or credit union.
Do not rely on the money until the funds have been finally collected by your financial institution. Funds “availability” is not good enough. If the check is fraudulent, it will bounce in your account and you will be responsible for all bank fees related to the returned check.
Those who have been victimized by a phony check drawn on a federally insured financial institution should phone the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation at 877. 275.3342. If the check is drawn on a foreign bank, contact the United States Secret Service at 202.406.5572 or go to www.secretservice.gov. Consumers may also contact the BBB Serving Western Virginia at 540.342.3455 or go to www.vawest.bbb.org.