I received a letter through the mail with an official looking letter head stating that I was being notified because I had won a Home Improvement Grant. There was a serial number, and claim number encluded in the correspondance. The total amount of the grant was 42,000, and enclosed with the letter was a check for 4,940.00 to assis me in paying the necessary fees and Foreign Access Taxes.
I was told that the fees were mandatory, and in order to claim my grant, and activate the account set up for me that I had to contact a Claim Manager assigned to my file. I called the number and was given three choices. (A) I could accept the check and received the remainder of the grant in 5-10 business days, (B) I could decline the check and pay the fees out of my pocket, or (C) I could just say no thanks.
I called the telephone number on the back of the check, and the bank assured me that the check was indeed authentic. I called the claim manager several times and was told that I had the option of changing my mind if I wanted to, and that they could not control me and make me send the fees, so it was a win-win situation for me.
After calling the bank several times, from different telephones, and having other people call the claim manager, I decided that things were legitimate, and deposited the check to my bank account. I was then given detailed instructions on who to send the fees to. I had a name, and address of a person in Houson, Texas. I sent 2,999.00 by Western Union. After calling the claim manager and giving them the MTCN I received a call saying that everything was in order, and that I needed to be at my residence on a certain day at a certain time to accept receipt of the final check.
Four days later when trying to purchase gas with my debt card I was amazed to discover that it was not accepted. I called my bank's customer service number and learned that my account had been closed due to the deposit of a counterfit check.
I have had that account for over 20 years. Now I am going through the process of trying to straighten everything out.