Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Reader’s Digest sweepstakes scam letters offer no returns

When you’re living on a fixed income, the chance that you’ve been selected in a sweepstakes can create a bit of excitement. Joe Volkert of Boise says the letter from Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes Award looked to be real. It stated that he was the rightful owner of a $920,000 grand prize. All he needed to do was contact Anthony Williams or Stacy Anderson.

“Contact our office and our representative will assist you with insurance fee, legal fee, and documentation fee as well as your taxes,” he says.

And to top it off, “Enclosed is a cheque” to help pay all fees.

Joe was alert if you win a sweepstakes you don’t have to pay anything. It’s a sweepstakes, but the tip-off was the Canadian spelling for “check.” The letter was signed David Williams, vice-president.

Joe folded up the letter and accompanying check and mailed it to BBB.

Better Business Bureau is warning residents about the sweepstakes scam. The letter bears a Reader’s Digest letterhead and a New York City address, and contains a check for more than $9,000, supposedly issued by Tower Hill Insurance. Neither company is involved in the phony sweepstakes.

Reader’s Digest issued the statement saying, “The reputations of legitimate corporations whose names are being hijacked are also tarnished. Our own company, Reader’s Digest, has fallen victim to these thieves, as have other well-known firms.”

The phone number to call — 778-714 — is registered for Vancouver, British Columbia area.

When consumers call a telephone number on the document, they are urged to deposit the check drafted on a Wachovia Bank account that is provided to aid in the mandatory payment of the insurance and administrative fees. Tower Hill Insurance, in this instance, has issued a statement and is working diligently with national law enforcement to help solve these crimes.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

23 years after Bhagalpur riots, Bihar govt to give pension to victim

Twenty-three years after he lost his wife and daughter, a victim of the 1989 Bhagalpur riots will receive compensation and pension from the state government in Bihar.

Bibi Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed Wahid Naddaf, a resident of village Salempur under Amarpur block of Banka district, had gone missing in the wake of the horrendous riots in Bhagapur district that had claimed more than 850 lives.

More than two decades after the worst-ever communal carnage in Bihar, Fatima has been presumed dead in the official records with the state government releasing an amount of Rs.1.65 lakh as pension for her father with retrospective effect from September 2007.

In an official communication to the district magistrate of Banka, special secretary, home (special) Preeta Verma said that Fatima's father be paid the pension amount at the rate of Rs.2,500 per month with retrospective effect from the day the state government had introduced pension scheme for the next of kin of the riot victims.

The district magistrate has been directed to identify Fatima's father and ensure he received the pension amount through an account payee cheque. The DM has also been told to get a bank opened in his name immediately if he did not have a bank account in his name at present. The letter also communicates that the sanctioned fund should not be used for any purpose other than payment of pension to Naddaf.
In addition, the department has also released an ex gratia of Rs.1 lakh to Naddaf for the death of his wife Bibi Sairoon in the riots.

The department move followed after Naddaf had filed a complaint to the chief justice of the Patna High Court that he had not been paid any compensation in the Bhagalpur riots case. The court had asked the principal secretary of the Home department to appear before the court on August 27 with an affidavit on the issue of payment of compensation to the Bhagalpur riot victims.

The government, in its affidavit, said that about 850 people had been paid compensation and pension for the Bhagalpur riots. The court has now sought the detailed list of the riot victims.

After coming to power, the Nitish Kumar government had decided to grant pension to the families of those killed in the Bhagalpur riots on the basis of the recommendations of the Justice N N Singh Commission which was set up to probe the riots afresh.