Police: Be wary of check or money order scams

Jun 19, 2013

If you find yourself the recipient of a check or money order for a large sum of money, chances are that the check or money order is part of a scam, the police warn.

The Mukilteo Police Department has received several reports of victims selling products using online programs, such as Craigslist, being contacted by an unknown buyer who sends a check or money order for an amount over the asking price.

The buyer then asks the seller to mail or wire the excess cash back to a bank account (oftentimes this account is held overseas in a country with no extradition agreement with the United States).

“We have at least three reports of the attempt of this type of scam in the last week,” said Crime Prevention Officer Cheol Kang.

So, how do you protect yourself? Follow these simple tips to avoid would-be scammers:

• Deal locally with people you can meet in person

• Never send money through a wire service for a sales transaction

• Never give out your financial information (bank account number, social security number, etc.)

• Avoid the use of an unknown third-party escrow service to facilitate the exchange of money and merchandise

For more information ,visit the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. File a report with IC3, the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov and your local police department.

-Edited by Beacon staff

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