PSP Warn of Check Scam

Click Photo for Enlarged View

COUDERSPORT – State Police in Coudersport are warning residents of a scam which is reported to be operating from Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as other locations throughout the world.

Police say there have been numerous victims of this scam, including an unidentified local resident who may have lost $1,995.00.

Police say there are new scams circulating throughout the county, and are warning residents to be wary.

Police say warning signs of a scam are:

  • The subject did not enter this sweepstakes.
  • It originates out of the boundaries of the United States.
  • The letter contains numerous errors. These include missing pronouns (I, he, she, we etc.). The word ‘the’ does not appear as it would in normal correspondence or speech and typographical errors.
  • They send a separate check to cover the taxes.
  • The check states it is from Atlantics State Cast Iron Pipe Co. The prize won is for a ‘Mega Lottery’. Why would a pipe company issue a check?

Police say this particular scam works by having you call a number for instructions. You then cash a check, depositing it into your bank account. You then withdraw money from the check, and wire it to another location, usually out of the country or through relays.

Police used a local scam as an example, which included a withdraw of $1,995 from a $3,980 check.

Cpl. Michael Murray of the Coudersport-based State Police said this about the scam:

The scammers tell you that you will be able to keep the remaining amount of the check. The wired money is then untraceable. The original check that you deposited comes back as being a forgery in 2-3 weeks. The bank then takes (using the above example) $3,980 plus fees from your account. Not  only are you liable for the $1,995 that you wired out, and any of the remaining funds you spent, you are also liable for any fees charged by the bank on your account for the forged check, typically between $60 and $100. You are also liable for any checks bounced as a result of the financial discrepancies in your checkbook caused by this and the bank fees associated with it, and potentially open yourself up to criminal liability. The scammer makes a quick couple of thousand dollars and you are left holding the bag.

Don’t be a victim! Most scammers use the premise that everybody wants something for nothing, and play to our instinct of greed. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

A copy of a check distributed locally (shown above), indicates a Galeton resident may have been victimized in this scam.

A copy of the letter which accompanied the check is shown below.

 


Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

2 Comments

  1. essie says:

    Beware. Always check all the facts before committing to ANYTHING> Please note that REVERSE Phone Look-Up on http://www.whitepages.com shows that the number in the copied letter above (416-887-4415) is a Land Line in Toronto, Canada.

  2. Bill says:

    I received the same letter in Philadelphia on October 22, 2011

Leave a Comment