Phony Check Scams: Canadian Lottery, Presidents Choice Financial,  John Anderson or Natasha Jones

Phony Check Scams
Canadian Lottery, Presidents Choice Financial, John Anderson or Natasha Jones

Have you received an email from Canadian Lottery, Presidents Choice Financial of  saying "you won the lottery in Canada and here is a check for 4850.00 to help pay the taxes which are 2950.00. It's says you need to call the claim agent at 647-686-8723", and that they will send you a check to deposit; just contact John Anderson or Natasha Jones?

It is an AFF / Money transfer Scam.  They'll send you counterfeit checks which you are supposed to deposit, take out some percentage (typically, 10%) for your work, and then MoneyGram or Western Union wire the remaining 90%. Notice that although you receive checks, they won't let you forward a check to them, only Western Union or Money Gram. There's a reason for this: Western Union and MoneyGrams are cashed immediately and are untraceable and irretrievable. Bank checks can take 1 or 2 weeks to clear!

Of course, since the check is fake, it will bounce a week or so later after you deposit it.  But you have already moneygram'ed the scammers the 90% of the amount, and that is transacted almost instantly.  So you now owe the bank for the full amount. You may also face criminal charges for passing counterfeit checks. See this page for a step-by-step explanation of how the scam unfolds.

Notice the passages in the actual scam email below.  They point out some of the additional clues that it is a scam, such as the email comes from a free email account (such as,,, Gmail,, etc.).  Wouldn't you expect a company to have its own website and email address (after all, it only costs about $200/year; every reputable company has its own website these days!) And don't be surprised if the scammers do put the names of real companies, real websites and events in their scams; it doesn't mean anything at all!

Report of a phony check scam letter:

This was not an email scam, I actually received a check in the mail. From all accounts this check is real, I called the bank it's written from and verified the account number, it is a good account, the check has watermarks and security features.

It's a real check Problem is the check is forged, which may not be caught until the check has been cashed and spent by me. Then I'm the one that has to pay.

Here's what I got A letter in the mail claiming I won the lottery in Canada and here is a check for 4850.00 to help pay the taxes which are 2950.00. It's says I need to call the claim agent @ 647-686-8723 the claim agents name is John Anderson or Natasha Jones.

I did call and they answered "Presidents Choice Financial" , which by the way is a real finance company. I inquired about the check and John told me that I needed to go cash the check immediately and once it cleared my account to call him back. I told him I would.

Then I decided to call the sponsor that owns the check I received and was told they had some checks stolen and copied and that the check was real, but forged. Here's what I found out, I could actually cash this check and it would clear my bank account,  I could spend the money and it may be months before I'm arrested for forgery.

Then I have to pay back all the money to the bank. I am contacting the FBI, if it had been some elderly person or someone that was really hard up for money. This just is not fair, something needs to be done to stop people like this.

Quick Summary: What Can you Do?

You can check the name of the issuing bank on the check with the names of banks that have reported stolen checks and you can call the bank to

  • verify that the account number on the check is legitimate and
  • matches the name on the check and
  • has sufficient funds.

You can go to this website and verify the routing number on the check and get the bank's phone number, then call the bank to verify that the account is real and the check is real.

If you believe you may have fallen victim to this type of scam and wish to report it, please file a complaint with the U.S. government Internet Fraud Complaints Center

Here is a summary of this type of fraud, from the United States Postal Service

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