Police warning Calgarians to be cautious concerning cheques, money wires and offers that sound too good to be true
In the past month, two people have come forward to report cheque-cashing scams in Calgary to the District 1 Victoria Park Station.
In one of the incidents, a woman received a letter from a company asking her to conduct a survey on a retail business. Inside the letter, was enclosed a cheque for several thousand dollars. The woman was told to cash the cheque and use a portion of it to shop at the business and report back. The second task she was asked to do was to send a larger sum of money through a money wiring company to test their customer service.
The woman tried to cash the cheque at her bank, but was refused. She then reported the scam to Calgary Police.
In March of 2012, a man applied for a cleaning job through an online classified ad. He was told the prospective employer was moving from Calgary to the United Kingdom. The man was sending the victim a cheque to buy office furniture for his new work space. The victim was told to keep a portion for himself and to wire the rest to an address in the United Kingdom.
The victim cashed the cheque at his bank and then as per instructions, wired a portion to the address in the United Kingdom. The cheque the man cashed was quickly found to be a fake and the victim was unable to recover his lost money.
Calgary Police are investigating these and similar incidents, however, it is usually very difficult to track down the fraudsters and in most cases, the money is not ever recovered.
Calgarians are reminded that a legitimate individual or organization will have no need to offer money to simply cash a cheque for them, as they should be able to do it themselves.
Police also remind Calgarians to trust their instincts. If something seems to be too good to be true, it likely is.
Calgary Police also remind citizens that anyone who has been victimized by such a scam should contact police. Information on a variety of scams is available at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (formerly Phonebusters) toll at www.phonebusters.com