Morrisey warns residents not to fall for mail scam - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Attorney General Morrisey warns residents not to fall for mail scam

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Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning residents not to fall for a mail scam that promises them a cash prize provided they pay a handler's fee.

Morrisey said a Wirt County resident recently reported receiving a notice by mail that she had won $4,000. To claim the money, however, it said she should need to advance half of the prize amount as a handler's fee.

The notice came from someone purporting to be "Advance Trust Finance Services."

"Luckily this resident had a pretty good feeling that this was a scam and reported it to us right away," Morrisey said. "It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of believing you've won a prize, but it's important to not let that excitement cloud your judgment and prevent you from fully evaluating whether it's legitimate."

Morrisey said it's usually easy to spot this common scam, but sometimes, scammers will use the name of an established sweepstakes to lull consumers into a false sense of security. In those cases, they're counting on the consumer to simply follow through with the "requirements" of the prize without reading any fine print about the prize's potential terms or conditions.

"Quite simply, it's illegal for any company to make you pay a fee to claim a prize," Morrisey said. "No legitimate sweepstakes will ever require this, or will ever require you to provide them with any personal information or financial information ahead of time to claim your winnings."

Anyone who has received mail from "Advance Trust Finance Services," or any other similar organization asking for a fee in exchange for a prize, is asked to call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808.