Colonie woman warns of scam with realistic checks

The envelope has a Canada postmark. The letter says Peggy won a half million dollars.

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There was also a check for almost $6,000 to pay for things like taxes, and she had to call to begin the claim process.

“When I saw the check, I was so excited,” she said. “I started dreaming about the things I could buy with it. Then I realized it was too good to be true.”

The check looks real. It could be real.

But she knew that she would never have entered anything with her nickname Peggy. She would have used her real name.

Berkshire Bank First Vice President Tina Pickup heads their security and fraud investigations.

“A legitimate company is going to say you’ve won, here is your money minus the taxes. They’re not going to send you a check to cover the taxes,” she said.

If Peggy had deposited the check she received, she would have gotten a call to send money.

“They’re going to ask for that money back somehow, so you deposit that money, you take that money out, you send it off to somebody who you’re not going to get it back from, and then, a few days later, the check will come back fraud.”

Peggy says she’s also gotten grandparent scam calls four times in two years and says the scammers are very good at what they do, imitating her grandchildren’s voices convincingly.

She never fell victim, and wants to warn others.

“My husband died in August. I could use the money so I was very excited about it. Definitely. If I didn’t see the name Peggy, I probably would have gone ahead and cashed the check.”