• PG Police warn of Craigslist scam

    Pacific Grove police are warning residents of a variation of a Nigerian check fraud scam utilizing want ads on Craigslist. Craigslist.com is a global online classified ad listing. But along with the thousands of legitimate postings, there are many scams in the making and scammers watching for opportunity to knock.

    Recently Pacific Grove Police received a report that a Sacramento resident had received a cashier’s check from M&T Bank in the amount of $4,230.02. The check was sent via a fraudulent Fed Ex account that was set up in the name of an existing Pacific Grove business in order to cover the fact that the origin of the fraud was outside the United States. The business itself was in no way connected to the scam.

    In tracing the fraud, Pacific Grove Police detectives discovered that the M&T Bank cashier’s check was a counterfeit document. The check was issued to the victim in this case in response to an advertisement she had placed on Craigslist.

    The scammer, using the counterfeit checks, sends an amount in excess of the selling price of the item or services and requests that the seller deposit the check into their personal account and draw back funds to be returned to a third party, via Western Union, to a location outside the United States.

    There are a few common sense rules police would like to remind residents of before doing any business online.

    1.                  Never wire money to anyone you don’t know for any reason.

    2.                  Try to do business with local companies that have an address you can visit.

    3.                  If they are not local, get a phone number and address that can be confirmed.

    4.                  Never give out any personal information.

    5.                  Report any suspected fraud to your local authorities BEFORE you send money.

     

    posted to Cedar Street Times on April 9, 2009

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News, Police Log

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