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San Francisco, CA, July 28, 2006…The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the nonprofit support partner to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, has discovered that its name is being illegally used as part of an extensive mail fraud scam. This scam uses the guise of a lottery prize notification in an attempt to defraud individuals of their own money, and the Conservancy would like to alert individuals receiving these mailings not to make the payments requested in the letter. Immediately upon becoming aware of this matter, the Parks Conservancy contacted the appropriate law enforcement agencies, which are now conducting a criminal investigation. The probe is being handled by the San Francisco Field Office of the United States Park Police. Media inquiries regarding the investigation should be directed to Rich Weideman, Chief of Public Affairs with the National Park Service for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area at 415-561-4730 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All members of the public with questions should be directed to contact their local law enforcement office or their local FBI office.
The Parks Conservancy has received inquiries from across the country regarding some fraudulent lottery prize checks. Individuals nationwide have received these fake checks in the mail with the Parks Conservancy’s name on them, stating in a letter that they have won cash prizes from the "World Wide International Lottery Programs." (See attached example of fraudulent certificate.) The "winners" are illegally instructed to send their own funds to a Canadian address in order to receive additional prize money.
The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy would like to make it known that it has no association whatsoever with this fraudulent mailing and that these checks are fakes.
Unfortunately, this incident is a reminder that even responsible, professionally run organizations such as the Parks Conservancy can have their name illegally exploited in this way. The Parks Conservancy deeply regrets that its good name has been used illegally by the perpetrators of this scam. We want to alert the public about this scam and reassure the community that the Parks Conservancy’s internal systems have protected us from experiencing any financial loss and that all of our organizational records remain secure.
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The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization that works in collaboration with the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust to improve park sites, enlist volunteers in restoration projects, provide education programs and services for visitors and local communities, and build a community dedicated to preserving the national parks at the Golden Gate. To learn more, please visit the Parks Conservancy’s website, www.parksconservancy.org