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Scam Alerts

Remember, If Something Sounds Too Good To Be True,

It Probably Is.

Be Cautious!

06/24/2009     

Craigslist Tips

  • DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON  follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on craigslist.

  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.

  • FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.

  • CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification"

  • NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)

  • AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL "GUARANTEE" YOUR TRANSACTION.

Here is a link to Craigslist Scams page that contains of samples of messages you may receive.

 

06/24/2009   

We have received several reports lately of Mystery Shopper Scams.  The way it works, is you receive an envelope containing what appears to be a legitimate form from a Marketing Company.  On some of these we have noticed mis-spelled words, ie: Totalex Merketing Inc.  Be leery of any documentation that contains mis-spelled words.  Most legitimate companies pride them selves in being professional and verify their documentation for correctness.  These packets will usually also include a check made payable to you.  Think carefully about this.  Did you apply with this company to do this kind of work?  How do you suppose they got your name and address?  They will advise you that the check is to cover your pay, funds for shopping, and then they will ask you to send the rest to another address by Western Union, or a Money Gram.  If they want you to send money back to them, there is a problem.  If it is a legitimate company, you will be paid for your services, and not be asked to send any money back to them.  If you cash this check/money order, YOU will be responsible for the funds if, or when the check/money order is returned to be counterfeit, or forged. You could be facing criminal charges if this happens.  Here is a sample of a document that was turned into us.  The check was never cashed so this person was wise to bring to us for review.  Click here for a copy of the documents.  If you are concerned about something you receive, take it to your local law enforcement agency and let them examine it.

 

07/29/2008    

Police are investigating a suspected case of fraud and flimflam after a 55-year-old Murfreesboro man reported Monday that he was scammed out of $7,000 by two men he met at the Home Depot on Old Fort Parkway.

The victim told police he was approached by another man who said he needed help to get to a pharmacy and that he “had $400,000 on him.”

According to an incident report, the victim said he then took the man, whose name is unknown at this time, to a local bank so he could deposit his money. The suspect then told the victim “he did not trust the bank.”

The victim then took the man to several locations and eventually withdrew $7,000 of his own money from his account to show the man how it is done. He explained to the man, who claimed to be from a foreign country, that people “have equal rights” in the United States.

The 55-year-old then told the man that they could trust each other, according to the report.

The man suspected of scamming the victim reportedly had an accomplice in the area. He asked the victim to pick him up, and he complied.

According to the report, after the 55-year-old picked up the second suspect, he was told by the first suspect that “we know you are trustworthy if you let us hold your $7,000 and walk around McDonalds on Old Fort Parkway and come back.”

The victim told police he gave the men the money, but they never reappeared around the other side of McDonalds.

The suspected flimflammers were described by the victim as two black males. One wore a blue shirt and tie, and the other had a “sailor’s hat on.”

A Daily News Journal reporter attempted to contact the victim Tuesday to find out more details of the crime, but he said he would not comment on the incident.

The bank which the victim withdrew his money from is not listed in the police report.

Murfreesboro Police spokesman Kyle Evans said the typical scams that police usually deal with are Internet or telephone based scams. However, the scam on Monday’s victim was relatively similar.

“One scam that comes to mind is the Internet check or lottery scam,” Evans said. “In that scam, the victim receives an e-mail from a perpetrator that asks them for help with cashing a check or lottery ticket. The victim is asked to send a money order to the perpetrator, who sent them a check or a lottery ticket, and there is usually a reason why they can’t cash the check or claim the lottery ticket.”

Evans said the perpetrator will then ask the victim for a deposit or a certain amount of money up front, promising them a cut of the check or winning lottery ticket in return. It is not until after the victims deposit is received by the perpetrator that he or she realizes the check sent by he or she is a fake.

“In this case we are glad that this victim only lost his money,” Evans said. “The victim had the suspects in his vehicle and drove to several locations which could have been very dangerous. He could have been injured or killed.”

For that reason, Evans said, he would encourage people not to let strangers enter into their vehicle for any reason.

“If any good can come of this it is that it will bring awareness to people that these scams are out there,” Evans said. “Hopefully no one else will become victim to this crime.”

Story by Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro, TN.

03/18/2008      

Puppy Scams:      

It has been brought to our attention that one of the most current Nigerian Scam is puppy sales.  They are apparently placing classified ads in newspapers and websites.  These adds have been know for Yorkie and English Bull Dog puppies.  The Shelbyville Police Department has been made aware of one case where a local resident's credit card was used to place some ads, and another local person had contacted these people in reference to purchasing a puppy.  Fortunately, this person became suspicious and cancelled the transaction before any money was sent.  They have been known to use dead end phones where you may get a message that the number you called is out of service, or no longer in service.  Shortly, thereafter, you may get a call from that same number.  They will usually request that you send money by Western Union.  If you refuse,  they have been known to threaten to hurt the puppy.  This is a red flag.  Once you send the money by Western Union, there is no way to get your money back.  Please be aware of these type scams and be sure that you would like to get a pet, check with local animal shelters, the Bedford County Humane Society .  If they do not have anything that you are looking for, they will be happy to send you in the right direction.  If you feel that you are the victim of one of these scams. please contact you local law enforcement agency. 

 

01/15/2008

Money Order Scams:

We have had a number of reports of people receiving money orders in the mail, where you are requested to cash the money orders and then send them to another location by Western Union.  They will usually inform you to keep a portion of the money for your inconvenience.  These money orders are usually forged or altered.  We have seen several US Postal Money Orders in the area.  Once you cash these money orders, YOU, are the person responsible for paying back the banking institution if/or when these money orders are returned.  If you receive any of these and would like to talk with us, just come by the office and we will discuss them with you.

 

11/01/2007

Counterfeit Cashier Checks:

We have seen a few Counterfeit Cashier Checks passed in our area.  For sometime, it has always been a pretty good bet that if someone gave you a cashier check from a bank, it was good as cash.  Not anymore.  With the advances in technology and criminals learning how to use this technology, we are seeing more and more counterfeit cashier checks.  We recommend that if it is a local bank, take it to the bank  and get it verified.  If you should cash it, you will be responsible for the money withdrawn from the institution and you could face criminal charges.  If you get one of  these checks in them in the mail, and instructed to send part of the money to another location by Western Union, don't do it.  This is similar to the Money Order Scams.  Again, if you are involved in one of these cases, please speak to someone with your local law enforcement agency.