BENTON COUNTY - A check scam targeting senior citizens is circulating in Central Minnesota.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office says the scam involves a fake check being mailed to a senior with a letter telling them that they have won the lottery.

The letter then tells the person to send money to cover a transaction fee with the lottery prize. The checks that have been received have been verified as fake by authorities.

Anyone who gets a check in the mail with instructions to send money back should assume it's a scam. The Benton County Sheriff's Office reminds you to never send money to someone who contacts you unexpectedly.

The individuals who have called about this letter have not sent any money to the suspects.