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An amethyst pendant in the shape of an octagon When is a cheque for $30,000 not a cheque? When “cheque for $30,000” is the name of a game being peddled by scammers SIAL.

Scammers are masters at deception, twisting words and phrases to mask their true intention. And SIAL is no different.

The personally addressed letter tries to give the impression of officialdom with the words SIAL, Department of Finance, International Agency for Lot Assignment.

The letter goes on to claim that you are the Grand Winner and will receive the unique cheque of $30,000.00.

“The cheque that you have definitely won will be sent to your home address by special courier within 9 days,” the letter states.

“The result is uncontestable (sic) . . . You truly are the unique confirmed beneficiary of the cheque of $30,000.00 Tax Free, made out in your name.”

Read the fine print and you’ll discover that “Payment of $30,000.00 by cheque in your name” is the name of the game.

Send off your $45 and you are in the running to win the principal sum of $30,000 with secondary prices of $85 reduction (discount) vouchers.

The fine print states that the vouchers can be used for commercial offers sent to participants at a later date and/or for a “jewel of great value”. The offers will be made by SIAL or a trademark of SIAL.

The competition runs until the end of the year - which is certainly a lot longer than the 9 days initially promised.

This letter is trying to get you to confirm your mailing address so SIAL can send you other offers a later date.

Basically, they want you to pay money to confirm your mailing address. Now that is a gem!