My mother received a letter in the mail via USPS, with a Canadian postmark, on 10JUN11. The letter was accompanied by a check drawn on Liberty Bank of Des Moines, IA, under the account of “Seneca Companies”, and made out to her for $2,286.79. It is dated 5-24-2011. The letter explained that her entry in the N/A PROMO USA MEGA MILLIONS/PCH (known as “THE BIG GAME”) sweepstakes/lottery was a winning draw for $45,000 and that she’d receive another check in the mail in a few days. The letter went on to explain that all prize money must be claimed by June 17th, 2011 and that her prize “will be transferred when States lottery commission and administrative requirements are met.” It further stated that the enclosed check was “part payment to be used in paying these fees in accordance with the official laws and Income Tax Protocols as mandate by the U.S. Government.” Her cooperation is mandatory and is meant to satisfy all official laws and protocols mandated by Federal and State regulations on games and gambling winnings. The contact name is Mike Bishop with a customer service number of 1-289-218-7846. I had called and talked to a man with a heavy eastern Indian accent who proceeded to tell me that it was a real check and that my mother had won the $45,000. He further explained that she’d have to call back on Tuesday the 14th to be assigned a tax advisor in this area. The check was to be used in securing this advisor’s help in managing the prize winnings and any taxes, but would be deducted from the $45,000. I had asked him where he was – he said “Upstate New York – Niagra Falls”. I then asked him why the letter had a Canadian postmark, he said it was probably the contact service comany that PCH uses to notify winners. When I asked why the check was drawn on a Des Moines Iowa bank he said that it was their clearing house for prizes. I asked him to speak to Mike Bishop and he said he was Mike Bishop – okay call me goofy, but with a name of Mike Bishop and a heavy eastern Indian accent it just doesn’t seem to fit. When I asked him why we had to call back on Tuesday, he stated that a tax advisor in the area would be assigned to my mother and that the sent check was to be deposited into her bank account to pay the pre-prize taxes and the advisors fees. I started to ask him if he had a supervisor I could speak to and I was disconnected. There were several clicks and being put on hold during the call. I am now wondering if there will be an outrageous charge on my Mom’s phone bill for calling that number which is an Ontario Canada area code. The number I called for the Seneca Companies of 780-782-6780 is an Alberta Canada number. The Des Moines address on Hubbell Street is a “T” intersection with nothing there except surrounding strip malls and parking lots, according to Google Earth. Anyway, none of this jived so I found a number for Publisher’s Clearing House from one of my mother’s bills. I had explained what I was trying to find out and was transferred to their fraud service department. I told a man at PCH that my mother had received this letter and check supposedly winning a $45,000 prize in a PCH sweepstakes. He asked if Mom had paid anything or sent any money anywhere. I said no and he told me that this was a scam, the check was fraudulent and do not cash the check. He also told me that if a person wins a sweepstakes with PCH the following is what happens: If the winnings are less than $10,000, the winner is sent a packet via certified mail which included documents the winner must complete to receive their prize. If the prize is over $10,000, the Prize Patrol shows up unannounced with the prize. I also just noticed the last paragrah’s misspelling of “guarantee” as “GURANTEED” in the statement “GURANTEED SAFE AND SECURE”. Stating that Seneca is “supported by the full authority and jurisdiction of the U.S. Government. Your funds are being held in an escrow account. All procedures are confidential and are meant to protect our clients. In order to avoid case of fraudulent claims, we insist you keep your account confidential until you have been paid in full. SPC holds the right to terminate any claim based on breach of this duty of confidentiality. Congratulations once again and thank you for being part of our program.” It holds the signature line of Judy Butler (Promotion manager) and has a small Publisher’s Clearing House emblem in the lower right-hand corner.