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Don't be fooled by those sweepstakes scams
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By RICHARD AMRHINE
THIS IS AN open letter to J.D. Emerson, Michael Washington, G.J. de Grasse, James Lewis, the Las Vegas Actionable Award Program, and the one other guy, whose signature is illegible:
I speak for my entire family when I say thank you for the incredible letters you have been sending. You can imagine our joy at the wonderful news that we've won big money in your exciting sweepstakes.
First off, to the guy whose signature I can't make out, we can't thank U.S. Sweepstakes Advisors of Las Vegas enough for the $3,700,300 check you'll be sending our way. We understand from your letter that we are in danger of immediate cancellation, and that can't be good. So thanks very much for sending it in that official IRS-looking envelope, labeled Form W-915. We wouldn't dare overlook that.
Please go ahead and take out the $20 we need to pay you and make the check for $3,700,280.
We're equally appreciative of the Las Vegas Actionable Award Program for the check we're to receive for $3,341,006. "Congratulations from all of us--been trying to reach you," reads the LVAAP's letter. "This is a day you may remember for the rest of your life."
No doubt about that, by golly. No one who gives us $3,341,006 is ever going to be forgotten, that's for sure. If you don't mind, though, please take out $20 we need to send in and make the check for $3,340,986. We'll be waiting!
Thank you as well, Mr. de Grasse, of Payment Access Services, for the check for $676,334.77. It's not for as much as the others, but that 77 cents makes it extra special. And you're in Las Vegas, too. What a coincidence! Here is an actual quote from your letter for everyone to read:
"As disbursement director, I wanted to personally inform you of this incredible news, and let you know, per consumer disclosures herein (reverse of specimen check) how to contact my office to begin the transfer of money, to inform you of the strict filing deadline, and to further inform you of sweepstakes now totaling $676,344.77--a very large sum of aggregate awards to be distributed in accordance with government regulations."