MT. VERNON — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was notified by a local resident of a scam involving a sweepstakes prize winner.
According to information from JFPD, the resident received a letter and a check from Apex Financial Incorporated in the amount of $4,350 which claimed the resident was the second prize winner from the European, African and USA Consumer Sweepstakes.
The letter and check were followed by numerous telephone calls to the resident from area code 876 — a number which originates from Jamaica.
The resident was instructed to cash the check and send a processing fee of $3,850 in order to claim a $350,000 full prize. The check was written off of Midwest Bank of Pierce, Neb. When contacted, the bank reported it has received hundreds of reports of the fraudulent checks.
“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone who receives these or other similar style checks not to cash them,” information states. “Residents are also encouraged not to engage in telephone conversations with unknown callers from area code 876, just to hang up the phone. Most of these scams originate overseas and prosecution is next to impossible.”