AURORA, Colo (CBS4) An Aurora woman reports getting two United State Post Office, USPS, money orders by mail. Postal inspectors say that’s a common scam and warn that if you’re not expecting a check in the mail, never cash one that just shows up.
The scammers usually ask that you cash the money orders or checks and then wire a portion of the money to them. Eventually the money order will not clear through the bank, and then you’re responsible for repaying the money.
Kanika Dale got two USPS money orders totaling more than $1,700.
“It’s addressed to me, my address and everything, correct name and spelling and everything,” Dale told CBS4.
Dale was suspicious, so she took the money orders to her local post office. The postal worker on duty confirmed for her that they were fraudulent.
“I get these things in my office weekly,” said Pamela Durkee, U.S. Postal Inspector.
Phony postal money orders, fraudulent cashier checks, and fake money grams are floating around waiting for an unsuspecting person to cash them and get scammed. Durkee says the people targeted have usually applied for a job online.
“An opportunity to make money working from home, being a mystery shopper or being notified that you’re a possible winner of a sweepstakes,” Durkee explained.
That’s exactly how Dale thinks the scammers found her. She’d been submitting resumes for jobs listed on Craigslist. She didn’t fall for the scam, and she wants to make sure no one else does either.
“That kind of stuff can ruin people’s lives, and that’s the last thing I want to happen to anybody,” said Dale.
Durkee says one warning sign would be a postmark from a foreign country. She also says the proof of legitimacy is in the paper. Real U.S. Postal money orders have a watermark of Benjamin Franklin that you can only see in the light. It’s very difficult for scammers to copy it, but many people may not know to look for it.
If you do get one of these fraudulent money orders or checks in the mail, the U.S. Postal Inspectors Office asks that you take it to your local post office. It will be handed over to investigators and they do aggressively go after these scammers.
– Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith