St. Charles police are advising residents to be aware there are people out there all too willing to try to trick you out of your hard-earned money after one resident recognized one scam and another resident fell victim to another over the past week.
In the first instance, the potential victim received a notice and a check sent through the mail, declaring he was a “winner” of the UK and North American Shoppers Sweepstakes. According to the police release on the incident, the notice explains that the check, in the amount of $3,750, was taken out of his winnings and mailed to him to help pay for the taxes and processing fees that had to be paid to the United Kingdom. The person filing the report was also advised to cash the check, and send the amount back in two installments through Western Union and Money Gram. The complainant then would receive a check for the remaining amount of $150,000 within 48 hours.
Fortunately, police said, the potential victim already knew about the UK lottery scam and came to the police department to file a report.
Check scams have been around for a long time, the release states, adding, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” St. Charles police asked that any residents receiving a similar notice in the mail to report it, “and obviously, don’t cash the check or send any money.”
The second was centered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., police said, and involved a local woman who applied for a loan on a website called USA Cash. Immediately after her application was sent, she began receiving telephone calls from other payday loan-type companies. One company, identified as Rapid Cash in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., advised the victim that it could approve her loan with less difficulty and she would receive her loan much quicker. The victim was instructed to go to a store and purchase a NetSpendReload Pack, and load the pack with a $400 loan fee and send it to Fort Lauderdale. She followed the instructions and was then advised to send additional funds for processing fees; along with an additional charge as her bank was a commercial bank. Total loss for the victim was $753.
St. Charles police warn, “Don’t apply for loans on the Internet! There are a lot of fraudulent sites who are just trying to take your money.”