On Your Side Alert: Mailing offers free BMW - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

On Your Side Alert: Mailing offers free BMW

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A viewer contacts 12 On Your Side after receiving a suspicious offer in the mail - claiming they had won a luxury car or the cash equivalent. What should you do if the offer shows up in your mailbox? We got some answers from the Postal Inspector. 

A fancy new BMW or over $65,000, it's what a letter told a viewer she had waiting on her. All she had to do was fill out a from and mail in $20; a check or credit card would work, the letter said.

Postal Inspector, Michael Romano says if you see this or something similar, red flags show pop up. A big concern, the viewer was supposed to mail that $20 to the Netherlands!  

"You are never going to receive anything back and $20 from you, and $20 from a lot of other people adds up," Romano said. 

Even inspector Romano admits this one looks legit. But he says don't be fooled by the official looking bar codes or legal disclaimers. The sender is just after your cash and personal information.

"If you start handing out that more personal information, it most assuredly is going to lead to an identity theft situation, or you will have your bank account breached electronically," Romano explained. 

If you get one of these strange offers, you can always file a complaint with the United States Postal Inspection Service. And if you are wondering if there is any chance it could be real? Inspector Romano has an answer.

"It is not likely at all. The most likely thing that will happen, if you send that $20 is you are out $20. And if you have given out your personal identifying information, it would definitely be time to contact your bank and run a free credit report," Inspector Romano says. 

The reason these bogus offers keep popping up is because people still fall for them and the crooks can make some quick cash. There also may be an explanation about why you seem to be a target.  

"Subscribing to certain things, whether it's free magazines, periodicals sweepstakes at the grocery store, you have to really watch what the third party disclaimer is," Romano explains. 

If you replied to the offer, try to stop the check and if you shared credit card or banking information, alert your financial institution. Here's a look at some of the most common postal schemes: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/pressroom/schemealerts.aspx

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Woman hit and killed by van in Richmond

    Woman hit and killed by van in Richmond

    Saturday, September 23 2017 5:31 PM EDT2017-09-23 21:31:44 GMT
    A woman has died, after police say she was struck by a van in Richmond. Police say the woman was walking across the 1100 block of Azalea Avenue around 3 p.m. Saturday, when she was struck by a van turning left off Seminary Avenue. The driver of that van stayed on the scene. Police say the woman was already dead when they got to the scene. The driver is not facing charges at this time. The investigation continues, as police work to notify the victim's family.

    More >>

    A woman has died, after police say she was struck by a van in Richmond. Police say the woman was walking across the 1100 block of Azalea Avenue around 3 p.m. Saturday, when she was struck by a van turning left off Seminary Avenue. The driver of that van stayed on the scene. Police say the woman was already dead when they got to the scene. The driver is not facing charges at this time. The investigation continues, as police work to notify the victim's family.

    More >>

  • Lexington Co. Coroner identifies victim in fatal collision

    Lexington Co. Coroner identifies victim in fatal collision

    Saturday, September 23 2017 11:57 AM EDT2017-09-23 15:57:02 GMT
    (Source: WIS)(Source: WIS)

    The Lexington County Coroner has identified the victim of a fatal collision that happened Friday night on Crystal Springs Drive. 

    More >>

    The Lexington County Coroner has identified the victim of a fatal collision that happened Friday night on Crystal Springs Drive. 

    More >>
  • Columbia, Richland County pull permits for nightspots

    Columbia, Richland County pull permits for nightspots

    Friday, September 22 2017 9:23 PM EDT2017-09-23 01:23:49 GMT
    (Source: WISTV)(Source: WISTV)

    Columbia Police have revoked the business license for a Vista nightclub linked to the Saturday morning gun battle that left eight people wounded and four suspects in custody.

    More >>

    Columbia Police have revoked the business license for a Vista nightclub linked to the Saturday morning gun battle that left eight people wounded and four suspects in custody.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly