Columbia Missouri Police Department
600 East Walnut Street ∙ Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 874-7652 ∙ www.GoColumbiaMo.com
Media Release ~ 5/19/2011
The Columbia Police Department took numerous reports of scams in the past couple of weeks. One of the scams reported is through Craigslist.com. The victim reported he responded to a job ad on Craigslist and began emailing back and forth concerning the job. The male victim said he sent his resume and believed he was hired for the job which involved accounting work.
The male victim said the company sent him a check in the amount of $2,434.00. The company asked him to send a portion of the money to another location. The male victim deposited the check and sent a portion of the money by Western Union. The male victim said his bank contacted him to let him know the check was fraudulent but the money had been sent already.
The second scam involved a letter by email. The female complainant reported she received an email from another female along with a copy of a check from a local title company in the female’s name that sent the email. The check was in the amount of $986.00. The female was sending the email to the complainant to verify that the check was legitimate since she received it through a secret shopping company.
The female complainant and her boss looked into the account numbers on the check. There was no verification or authorization for any individual to write a check under this account for any amount of money through the Secret Shopping Company. The check was not cashed and no money is missing from anyone’s account.
Here are some safety tips:
1.) Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.
2.) If you call the number back that called you to verify the information and a recording picks up not stating the name of the company this is a scam.
3.) Make a phone call to verify.
4.) Before you send money, ask yourself a simple question. “What guarantee do I have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?”
5.) Be skeptical – Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.
6.) Take Safety Precautions - Don’t pay by credit card, cash or money order.
7.) If something doesn’t seem right it’s not right.
If you have information about a fraud, report it to a law enforcement agency.