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Jonesboro man warns of scam arriving in the mailbox

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - There's a chance it's already shown up in your mailbox but one Region 8 man warns that a letter from Media Opportunities Direct is a scam. 

Though the money phishing scheme is a bit different from most, it will still put you out of pocket if you fall for it.

"I received this in the mail...it's a document that says that I'm a cash winner in a contest," Howard Cowgill told Region 8 News.

The letter throws up some big numbers up front but Cowgill warns you not to fall for it.

"As you read through this, you quickly realize it's a scam."

Cowgill said he knew right away that something was off and reading through the letter confirmed what he suspected.

"There are contradictions all through it," he explained.

For instance, buried paragraphs deep, the letter states Cowgill will receive the money after the "prize sponsors" make their "final determination of winners".

"Even though it says I'm a confirmed and validated cash prize winner."

Cowgill said he didn't fall for it as he's seen his fair share of scams.

"I've received things before from like out of the country places that want you to send money and your family inheritance," Cowgill said. "All kinds of ways that they try to bring you into it."

Cowgill said most of the money phishing schemes he sees are outrageous but this was a bit different.

Media Opportunities Direct did not request personal information or large amounts of money to win the prize.

"There is a process payment fee of $24 and then $2 for handling and postage."

According to the letter, all it takes is $26 and a signature verifying who you are to receive your cash payment.

Cowgill said he called the FBI to let them know about the letter he received.

"They immediately told me, yeah, it is a scam and it's on their radar."

Cowgill said he contacted Region 8 News about the scam in case it keeps circulating or others have already seen one show up in their mailbox.

He cautions others to be aware.

"These things are going on all the time and if they do get something, check with authorities and let 'em know," Cowgill said.

Media Opportunities Direct has a return address to the Netherlands.

The scam is not just happening in Jonesboro. The Baxter County Sheriff in North Central Arkansas is warning residents of the scam as well.

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