Citizens Warned Of Research Scam

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The Cannon County Sheriff’s Department is alerting citizens to be careful in responding to recent mailings received in the past weeks.

Mailings from Alcatel Lansing Research have been delivered via U.S. Mail from Canada and marked “Private and Confidential” since April 30, 2010 to residents of Cannon and surrounding counties.

“This is a scam and one that targets our senior citizens especially,” said Investigator Charlie Wilder. “The letter from Alcatel Research states ‘Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in a paid Consumer Research Program. As a selected candidate, you will be acting as a Customer Service Evaluator of the assigned companies in your area’.

According to Investigator Wilder, Alcatel is a Customer Service employment firm that specializes in conducting research and assisting corporations in evaluating the quality of customer service provided to their clients. They state in the letter they represent over 1,200 research firms across Europe and North America. Some of the most notable include: Sears, Wal Mart, Lowes, McDonalds, Best Buy and Pizza Hut.

“Alcatel even sends you a check for $1,965.00 with your name endorsed,” said Wilder. “The check is drawn on Wescom Credit Union in Pasadena, CA. We remind citizens not to correspond with Alcatel by calling the number on the letter or certainly not cash the check. For instance, if you have an account at your local bank and take this check which is marked CASHIER’S CHECK they will cash it but in a couple of days you will receive notice that the check did not clear and you are asked to repay the money.”

Wilder added that these schemes are common but with the companies such as Wal Mart, Sears and others that even have their logos printed on the letter they might seem legitimate to the unsuspecting citizen.

Sheriff Billy Nichols warned citizens to use the old adage “you can’t get something for nothing” and be alert to this and other scams.

“If you are suspicious of mailings you receive offering large amounts of cash for helping conduct a research program please give us a call and don’t cash the check,” said Sheriff Nichols. “We don’t want residents to lose large amounts of money over a scam. I want to thank Fred Tenpenny who brought this information to our attention and the actual check in his name for $1,965.”
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