crimes are becoming an increasingly common threat to everyone
across the country. These crimes can take many different forms,
from a victim receiving a check back from their bank stating that
a check they deposited has been returned to them marked NSF
(non-sufficient funds) to the now familiar Nigerian
A consumer should learn to protect themselves from any of these
scams by being diligent in their use of their identification
information and by knowing who it is they are accepting checks
from. When using the internet to buy or sell items, remember
to make every effort to know who it is you're dealing with.
Don't use checks to pay for any purchases on the internet -
if possible, use a secure pay site that separates the buyer
and seller. (more
about internet frauds)
newest scam that our unit has knowledge of is where an internet
buyer sends a check for more than the purchase price for an
item and requests that the seller cash the check and send a
money order (same as cash) for the extra money back to them.
The seller then discovers that the original check is counterfeit
and takes a loss for the total amount.
Quite often, any internet scam has a problem with jurisdiction.
Who's going to make the initial report? Who's going to investigate
the crime? What should I do to stop any further loss? A victim
should insist that their local police department make an incident
report for the theft - be it identification fraud or eBay fraud.
Our elderly citizens are particularly vulnerable to contractor
fraud and the pigeon drop. Fraudulent contractors can be very
persistent in their efforts to pull an elderly victim into their
scam and then charge an exorbitant price for inferior work.
Contractors can be checked out by calling the local Better
Business Bureau for references.
The pigeon drop is an old scam that is still being used today.
A stranger will ask if you want to share in a large amount of
money that he or she has found. All they ask is that you put
up some of your own money to show "trust". When the
stranger has your money, they hand over the bag containing what
is believed to be the large sum of money and they disappear.
The victim then finds themselves holding a bag of worthless
about consumer frauds)
IF SOMETHING SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS!