ALBANY, Ga. -- If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
The Dougherty County Sheriff's Office is urging the public to be on the look out for check scams, one in particular that appears to be targeting senior citizens.
Over the last few days, at least three people in the area have come to law enforcement officials with a counterfeit check that was mailed to them with a letter that has the header "Trust Network Inc."
The letter, which also comes with a signature and photo at the bottom, asks the recipient to send in roughly $2,900 back in order to obtain the winnings.
"If there are too many people winning a sweepstakes, you know it is a scam," said Capt. Craig Dodd.
"If anyone sends a check and asks you to send a portion back, they should have written you a check for that amount in the first place."
This particular letter contains misspellings in body. Most documents of this kind will also come with a Canadian postmark, Dodd said.
"It takes two weeks for the check to go through the reserve and it comes back as counterfeit," the captain said. "People will fall for it. We want to try to make people as aware of it as possible.
In these cases, the money is often wired overseas. "They will mail literally billions of dollars out of the country," Dodd said. "This is much more common during the holidays, but it happens year-round."
Local authorities are currently in the process of sending samples of the letter to federal investigators.
"We would like to get as many samples as possible," Dodd said.
Dodd said that nobody from the area is known to have sent money in. Those that receive the letter are encouraged to either shred it or turn it over to law enforcement officials.
Anyone that is uncertain of a document's authenticity, or feel they are being victimized by a scam, are encouraged to take the product in question to their local sheriff's office.