New scams hit sheriff's radar
On Saturday, Jan. 28, a scam was reported to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, where the victim told deputies they had posted a registered Guernsey show cow for sale in the Iwanna classified ads page.
The victim said within two days of making the post, someone inquired about purchasing the cow. The two discussed the sale by text message and the victim recently received a cashier’s check in the mail for nearly $3,000 — except the asking price was $1,500.
The victim became suspicious they had received a check that was so much higher than the asking price and contacted the bank listed on the check “MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.” The credit union told the victim the check was fraudulent.
If the victim hadn’t contacted the Sheriff’s Office with this scam, here’s what would have happened, according to Haywood County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Capt. Bruce Warren:
“The person/victim who received the check would have called or contacted the person/suspect who sent the check regarding the fact it was for too much. The suspect would have asked the person/victim to go ahead and deposit the check into their (victim’s) account. The suspect would then ask the victim to wire the difference back to them. This entire transaction would happen before the bank (where the check was initially deposited) realized it was a bad check.”
Warren adds that recently he has received information from concerned citizens regarding a mystery shopper letter being sent in the mail, where an unconfirmed business offers thousands of dollars up front to the recipient in return for mystery shopping services.
“You can never guess what scams will pop up next. From people being duped by fake computer repair companies to people being offered a new car and money — you have to ask yourself if an offer is too good to be true,” said Warren. “The only way to not become a victim of a scam is to be educated on the red flags. Do not do business over the Internet or through text message without speaking to the person on the phone and personally confirming the business is legitimate.”