St. Albans Police warn about scam

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ST. ALBANS, W.Va.(WSAZ) -- While getting a check for more than $2,000 for doing nothing may seem nice, police say it's not realistic.

St. Albans Police say these instructions come in the envelope along with the fraudulent check.

"They're sending a UPS envelope and inside it's got a check," said St. Albans Police Lt. Jake Dent.

Dent says the checks are printed and made out to the receiver. He says if you use a checking account, people are liable to get your information.

"(If) UPS store or something was compromised where people's personal information was taken out of it," Dent told WSAZ. "So they get these people's information and that's how they're sending it to particular individuals, and you can't really prevent that."

The envelopes also come along with instructions on how to deposit the check.

Dent says they've had two reported incidents within the last five days, and WSAZ got to sit down with one woman who reported the fraud.

"At first I got a phone call and they said that I would be able to put an ad on my car and get five hundred dollars a week," said Carol Haid, a woman who received the scam.

Haid says she knew right away that it was all a scheme.

"But I went ahead and thought, well I'll say yes and see what they send. They sent me a, I think, $2,750 check for me to put in my bank."

The envelope also included an email and phone number for the unsuspecting victim to contact the person for questions.

"The envelopes were sent from Iowa, the checks themselves are from a place in New Jersey, the individual's telephone number is from Texas," Dent said. "So nothing is the same jurisdiction, it doesn't look right at all."

Dent says one person tried to cash the check but wasn't able to due to the bank realizing it was a fraudulent check. But he says while some banks will recognize the fraudulent check, others may not.

"(The scammer) is getting a person to utter the check for them and uttering a check is passing a fake check; that's a crime," Dent said. "So they're doing a fraudulent scheme but they're not actually uttering the check."

But both Dent and Haid say if something is too good to be true, it usually is.

"Just be mindful and don't give out personal information. I mean, nobody is just going to send you a check for a couple thousand dollars, especially someone you don't know," Dent said.

St. Albans Police ask that if you receive anything connected to this scam, to report it to them.