DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Police Department is once again warning about Internet scams involving forged checks.
“The most common scam involves victims being contacted via the Internet in response to an employment inquiry and made aware of a job processing checks,” Sonny Jackson with Denver police said in a statement.
Jackson said the victim is then mailed a check and instructed to deposit the funds into their own account or cash it.
“The victim then forwards funds (typically through Western Union or Money Gram) overseas. Funds are most often sent to Nigeria and have been routed through numerous locations including Florida, California, Holland and England,” Jackson said. “The original check the victim received is later returned as a forgery and the victim’s account is debited by their bank.”
Many of the scam e-mails have broken or odd sounding English.
The following variations have also occurred:
– Victims have also been contacted in response to online dating/roommates.
– Victims have been instructed to keep a percentage of the funds as payment.
– Funds have been forwarded to a third person somewhere in the US. This person (middle-man) is often unknowingly involved in the scam and they believe that they are providing a service or favor.
Jackson said another scam involved selling goods or services on eBay and Craigslist and other sites.
“A suspect offers to buy the item and then sends more funds then required. The suspect asks for the difference back and the victim typically receives a forged check and sends the difference out of the U.S.”
Jackson said the Denver Police Fraud Unit recommends researching scams online.