LOS ANGELES, Aug. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- It comes in the mail. What appears to be an official letter written in simple terms with a check in an amount under $5,000 from Readers Digest or telling you that you have won $500,000. Sound too good to be true?
Don't be fooled says Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®. "You are asked to cash an enclosed check to cover your expenses and then you must call a prize disbursement officer to collect" says Melissa Arnson, Corporate Security Investigations Manager, Group Security Americas, Farmers Insurance Group.
"When you call, you will be asked to send a large portion of the check to an address to cover expenses in getting the $500,000 to you. Don't do it, the check is bogus and will bounce when deposited, and if you send a personal check money from your bank account will disappear."
Arnson described a surge in other scams hitting across America which include letters and fake Farmers checks to consumers telling them that they are in the UK & NORTH AMERICA CONSUMER PROMOTIONS DRAW—cash the check and send a portion of it to the address listed; or others receive a notice saying here is a check for you to become a MYSTERY SHOPPER in our Consumer Service Evaluator research project—cash the check and send a large portion to get you started; or many receive a bogus check and notice telling them that they have won the Mega Million Sweepstakes. "All of these scams are designed to steal your money," Arnson emphasizes.
According to the National Consumers League, the average victim looses between $3,000 to $4,000.
Arnson offers this advice: "If you receive what appears to be a Farmers Insurance check and an offer asking you to pay fees, taxes or other charges from an enclosed check, toss the letter and check away." She adds, "We are working with authorities in all states to try and catch the scam artists who are a threat to the livelihood of hard working people."
Anyone who receives what appears to be a Farmers check along with an offer as described above and has questions, or wants to report the mail received, can call Farmers Security hotline at 323-932-7171.
Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is the country's 3rd largest insurer of both personal lines passenger automobile and homeowners insurance, and also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with more than 20 million individual policies across all 50 states through the efforts of over 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and nearly 24,000 employees.
Farmers is a trade name and may refer to Farmers Group, Inc. or the Farmers Exchanges, as the case may be. Farmers Group, Inc., a management and holding company, along with its subsidiaries, is wholly owned by the Zurich Financial Services Group. The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange), including their subsidiaries and affiliates, owned by their policyholders, and managed by Farmers Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information about Farmers, visit its Web site at www.farmers.com or at www.Facebook.com/FarmersInsurance.
SOURCE Farmers Insurance