BAINBRIDGE -- It seemed almost too good to be true -- and it was.
Fortunately for this Bainbridge couple, when it seemed too good to be true, they did the safe thing and contacted authorities.
Indiana State Police Detective Brian Smith is investigating a Shoppers Sweepstakes scam that the couple recently received in the mail.
The letter, received from Starmark Financial Inc., informs the recipient that they are the winner in a random drawing and a check for $ 4,890 is included in the mailing. The letter informs the reader to contact the listed claim agent with the included claim number and to submit a Moneygram or Western Union Money Transfer in the amount of $ 2,985 to cover government taxes.
The included check, if deposited, goes through without a hitch, but later returns as "insufficient funds" and the money is taken from their account, by their bank, to cover the amount.
"It is important that people realize that they are responsible for the checks they deposit," noted the Indiana Attorney General's office. "There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back. You may report a fake check to the United States Postal Service, the Federal Trade Commission and to the state attorney general's office."
It is important to provide as much documentation and information you have including a copy or original of the check, envelope and other material that arrived with the check.