Feeds

Phoney Net contest 'winner' sued by bank

$9k shopping spree gone wrong

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

An American woman is being sued for fraud by her bank after falling victim to an online scam. Prize money from an Internet contest turned out to have been a bad cheque, and the Cooperative Credit Union wants its money back.

Jaclyn Swenson, 26, from Racine, Wisconsin thought she had won $13,000 in the first phase of an Internet-based contest.

Swenson says she exchanged about 75 e-mails with contest officials, who originally wanted her bank account details and social security number. Apparently aware that this could be a phishing scam, she refused to give the organisers the information. Eventually, she says, they agreed to send her the prize money.

The next phase of the contest required her to pay the money into her account, and then transfer it to another account out of the state. This would qualify her for a 'Grand Prize' of $2.8m, according to the contest organisers.

According to reports in her local newspaper, she was concerned that the contest was a fake and, once the money arrived, took the precaution of asking local banks, the Better Business Bureau and the police to verify that the cheque was real. She says she was told it was genuine, as it was a certified cashiers' cheque.

She paid it into her account, waited five working days for it to clear, and instead of transferring it out of the state, went on a weekend shopping spree. She paid back loans, bought a used car, an Xbox and took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese's. In total she spent $9,493.28 of the $13,000.

However, the following Monday, the Federal Reserve flagged the cheque as bogus, and the Credit Union asked her to pay the money back. At this point she ran, terrified of arrest, from the bank lobby and has not been back.

Swenson doesn't have the money and is now in hiding. She is filling her time playing in online contests. ®

Related stories

Lottery scams new flavour of the month
Bush to sign anti-phishing bill
Anti-phishing group backs email authentication

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?