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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

DaimlerChrysler Warns of Lottery Fraud

Consumers across the United States have received fraudulent letters from the so-called Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission in Canada claiming they've won $170,000, according to phony documents obtained by DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas.

The letters contain counterfeit checks allegedly issued by "DaimlerChrysler Services" and "DaimlerChrysler Services Truck Finance" in the amount of $2,260. The company on January 1, 2006, changed the names of those units to DaimlerChrysler Financial Services and DaimlerChrysler Truck Financial.

"We care about the well-being and financial health of consumers," says Andreas Hinrichs, vice president global projects and chief compliance officer for DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas. "Therefore, we felt strongly about alerting the public to this ongoing criminal activity, especially when con artists victimize consumers by pretending to be associated with us."

Hinrichs also serves as chairman of the American Financial Services
Association's newly-formed Identity Theft and Fraud Control Committee.

As part of the con, recipients of the letters are asked to deposit the
check to cover a service charge of the same amount in order to receive
their winnings. However, before the check clears, recipients are requested
to call a representative of the phony lottery and gaming commission who
instructs the recipient to send a personal check via electronic transfer
for $2,260 to "finalize the payment process." Not surprisingly, the
original phony check never clears and the promised payout of $170,000 never
arrives. In the meantime, the recipient's funds in the amount of $2,260
have disappeared.

DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas posted fraud alerts on its
corporate Web sites. The automotive finance company encourages victims to file a consumer fraud complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) either by calling the FTC's Consumer Response Center toll free at 877-FTC HELP (382-4357) or by downloading and submitting a complaint form online.

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