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Aug 11, 2015 3:43 PM

NH1 News Investigates Merrimack Money Scam: Letter claims to give away $750,000


MERRIMACK – Merrimack residents are sounding off tonight about a scam hitting their town.

The scam involves an envelope arriving in the mail promising $750,000, but there’s at least one catch.

A 50-year-old Merrimack woman came to police telling them she got that letter plus a $10,000 check she was told to cash before she could claim the prize.

“Cash the check” is what she told the Merrimack Police's Detective Scott Park the letter told her to do. And then, “keep it confidential. Don’t share this information with other people.”

“She thought it was suspicious,” Park said.

We caught up with Harvey Bloom and his wife shortly after the unidentified woman went into the police department and asked them what they would do.

“Right after I laughed and ripped it up?” Harvey said.

The letter is coming from Bright Star Alliance Marketing Sweepstakes out of Las Vegas, Nev.

When we called them, they told us we had the wrong number.

So then we called the prize claim manager named on the letter, we first got a voicemail telling us that they “can’t take your call at the moment.”

So we called back and got a person on the other end.

We told them we were trying to determine the validity of the letter.

The man on the other end, Franco Daninato, listed as the prize claim manager on the letter, told us “OK. You cannot avoid it.”

And then he hung up.

When we asked Park what they told the department when they called, he said, “They immediately hung up.”

As for Harvey Bloom, he has some advice for residents, and it comes in one word: Google.

“And it's very easy to do these days with the advent of computers and the Internet,” he said.

If you live in Merrimack and you've seen this letter, police want to hear from you.

You can call them at 603-424-3774.

If you’ve received a similar letter from somewhere or someone else, you’re urged to call your local police department.


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