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March 2010: Beware of Online Fraud. Report Suspicious Activities or Information
If you have received a check with our name on it sent via Federal Express to you for purchase of items as a "Personal Assistant" DO NOT CASH OR DEPOSIT IT!  Please notify us immediately. Cashing the check may make you an accessory to this internet scam. It has already been reported to our local police department and detectives are working on the case. The bank has also been notified and the account used is closed due to this fraudulent activity. Please return any check(s) you have received to us by mail immediately so they can be turned over to the police. Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 845-201-8063.
 
Hard economic times are making it easier for scam artists to trick consumers into acting against their better judgment. The offer of easy money makes the "secret shopper" scam and "personal assistant" schemes particularly effective. The scam starts with an advertisement in the newspapers or on the Internet, a telemarketing call, a letter or an email that promises you well-paying work as a secret or mystery shopper. People who respond are sent a real looking check, asked to deposit it and then wire the money back. Another scam is to take advantage of people who are looking for work or extra income during a slowing economy," Consumers also report getting fake checks in response to items they've posted for sale in newspaper classified advertisements or on web sites such as eBay or craigslist. Victims are sent a check for more than the asking price on their item for sale and asked to wire back the extra money.  The scammers steal account numbers from unsuspecting victims and then print checks that look real but are not real. BE SAFE! If it sounds to good to be true it most likely is.

Recognizing scams

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

  • Inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
  • Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee"
  • Inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consumating transaction
  • 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 or other websites.
  • 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 check is discovered weeks later.
  • AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL "GUARANTEE" YOUR TRANSACTION.

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