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Tyler, Professional Researcher & Musician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 6138
Experience:  B.M & M.M.. Skilled at in-depth research. Former police officer.
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I received a letter today informing me that I have won a sweepstakes

Resolved Question:

I received a letter today informing me that I have won a sweepstakes and a check was enclosed for $3950. The letter states that the check is to assist me with paying the non resident tax fee because I don't live in Canada where the draw was held.

The return address on the envelope is from Canada. The letterhead is from Alliance World Brokers Inc. in Boston, Mass. and the check is drawn on The Golden1 Credit Union in Sacramento.

They state that they made many unsuccessful attempts to contact me. This is probably because I ignore Spam email. The is the 1st time that anyone ever took it to the next level. Should I ignore the check or should I send it back ?

Thank You,
Joseph Bauer
Glendale, California
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Tyler replied 7 years ago.

What you are describing is not uncommon. There are a number of red flags that come up from what you have described. Number 1 is that it's from Canada. There are all kinds of hoops to jump through and red tape to cut when you do something internationally like that. Number 2 is the different locations you mention, Boston, Sacramento and Canada. Companies can add legitimacy to a scheme like this by throwing in many different well known locations. Did you enter any drawings--any drawings in Canada? This sounds like a scheme I became aware of when I was a cop. What they are probably trying to get you to do is cash the check at your bank and return the money to whomever is responsible for this "non-resident tax fee". Once you cash the check and withdraw real money, it comes from your account and becomes legitimate. You send the money to them, they have real money, and a few days later when the check bounces, your account and you are liable for the $3,950.00--it doesn't go away.

Based on my experience, this is what it sounds like to me. If you did actually register for some kind of drawing, you might wish to contact the company by phone to verify any actual drawing or legitimacy of this. Otherwise, shred the check and continue to ignore them. Best of luck. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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