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New Twist To An Old Scam
NEW TWIST TO AN OLD SCAM

(Pierre) – Money transfer scams are not new; in fact they have been around for years.  The basic scam asks individuals and businesses to use their bank accounts in return for a large sum of money. This scam originated as a letter but soon found its way to fax machines and email.  

A new approach to this scam is more alarming because it appears to be more believable. The thief poses as a buyer and pays by cashier’s check from a U.S. bank for an amount that is significantly higher than the purchase price of the item. The thief makes a plausible excuse for the over payment and asks that the difference be wired back. The seller cashes the check and returns the over payment. The check turns out to be counterfeit. The seller is now out the money he has refunded and most likely the seller will have to reimburse the bank for the counterfeit check.

“The scammers had been targeting large ticket items like cars, boats and livestock, but now have expanded to everything from computer components to sewing machine parts,” said Long. “If you are selling products on-line or have a business website be very skeptical of email offers from foreign countries like Nigeria offering to pay by cashiers check.”

If you have received one of these counterfeit checks or have been a victim of this scam contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-300-1986 or consumerhelp@state.sd.us.

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