Archive for Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Warning issued on ‘shopper’ scam

May 17, 2011

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Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson on Tuesday warned residents about an “investigative shopper or mystery shopper” scam after a Douglas County woman was scammed out of several thousand dollars.

Branson said the woman responded to an email from an out-of-state company offering to compensate her and instructed her to go to several area businesses that performed money wire transfers. The email claimed the companies were suspected of fraudulent practices, and the woman was scheduled to return to the businesses the next day to ask for a refund from the companies.

The investigative shopper company had given her a $4,000 check to deposit into her bank account to use for the transfers. The check was later returned for being fictitious, Branson said. The woman learned the $4,000 was not deposited into her account and she lost her own funds for the wire transfers she placed.

“These offerings are never legitimate. They are always a scam,” Branson said. “Never spend money from a deposited check from a questionable source until you verify with your financial institution the check has cleared.”

Branson said the rule applies to money orders and cashier’s checks as well.

Comments

LogicMan 3 years, 11 months ago

A slight new twist on the well known Nigerian scam. Very unfortunate.

evilpenguin 3 years, 11 months ago

Wow, really? I'm with UNIKU, people need to be more sensible and responsible about these things.

Evan Ridenour 3 years, 11 months ago

This same exact scam has been going on for over a decade.

I find it ridiculous that people are still falling for it. Guess what?! People don't send other people several thousand dollars for free! Ever!

pace 3 years, 11 months ago

"“Never spend money from a deposited check from a questionable source until you verify with your financial institution the check has cleared.”" Is a misleading statement. Some banks have cleared a check, by in house policy and later reversed the clearance. Again the scammed paid, not the bank.

Evan Ridenour 3 years, 11 months ago

What that quote means is that you should wait until your bank has actually verified from the payor bank that the check you deposited has been paid. Banks will often credit funds and make them available to you way before that actually happens (some banks do this immediately when you deposit the check). This is something the banks do for your convenience. The bank would of course have the right to reverse the credit if it later finds out that the check you deposited was fraudulent.

That wouldn't always protect you anyways (but it is a good rule off thumb to use in all situations where you deposit checks). The real solution is to not be stupid. People will never give you "free" money. If someone gives you a check and tells you to give them cash or a cash equivalent back from it... well, you deserve to lose the money if you do it.

pace 3 years, 11 months ago

"well, you deserve to lose the money if you do it. "

a bit twisted. People don't deserve to be cheated because you can figure out a method of cheating them. Yes, people should be alert and do their best and know and practice methods to protect themselves, but no they don't deserve it if some crook outwits them., they don't deserve it if some trusted person is a liar. I wish everyone was honest and everyone could prevent any crook from finding a way, but no, people don't deserve to be cheated. I wish our law would catch up and be able to catch more of these. The banks should make it a priority that globally there is traction. We have a responsibility to be alert, but the institutions that ask us to respect international commerce should take more responsibility than shrugging their shoulders and saying they have no responsibility. It isn't Joe in Kansas that can track the money and block the crooks. Not once they get hold of grandma's numbers.

Corey Williams 3 years, 11 months ago

Some people want something for little or nothing. When they jump at the chance to make a few thousand for doing little or no work, then yes they do deserve it.

The easiest way to beat this scam is to either accept the check and keep it all for yourself. Especially the checks that come from overseas. What, are they going to come and get it back from you?

pace 3 years, 11 months ago

Never deposit crude into your checking account. Or are you being sarcastic?

Corey Williams 3 years, 11 months ago

Deposit all you want. Just don't count on it being there. Or at the very least inform your bank that it is suspect.

pace 3 years, 11 months ago

ask your bank about your idea about processing a suspect check through your account.. They will explain the pitfalls.

jehovah_bob 3 years, 11 months ago

FYI, that's an Ye Olde English proverb.

The W.C. Fields quote is: “A fool and his money were lucky to get together in the first place.”

Fred Mertz 3 years, 11 months ago

I just don't know how people fall for these scams. I suspect that scammers might try to hit me up once they learn I've received a great deal of money from the widow of a high-ranking Nigerian official. Not only do I get to help this poor unfortunate woman, but I' get to make a bundle of cash in the process.

Oh well, off to the bank to send her some funds to prove I am trust worthy.

Corey Williams 3 years, 11 months ago

I had a few scams come at me when I was selling some stuff on craigslist. Once I figured out what they were, the easiest thing to do is to let them know where to send the check but to also tell them that you will keep it all. You won't send anything on to their friends in wherever, that you plan on keeping it all for yourself. One person actually got upset about it since it was "their money".

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