Thought you won the lottery? Think again. Consumers across the United States have received fraudulent letters from the so-called Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission 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,” said 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 at http://www.daimlerchryslerfinancialservices.com/na and http://www.dctruckfinancial.com/ . 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 at http://www.ftc.gov/ . DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas LLC provides brand-specific financing for automotive dealers’ inventories and their retail consumers, and conducts business as Chrysler Financial and Mercedes-Benz Financial. As DaimlerChrysler Truck Financial, it also finances commercial vehicles for affiliate products such as Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star. The company serves as the headquarters for operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, and has approximately 5,600 employees who manage a portfolio of more than $104 billion with nearly five million contracts.