St. Bernard woman loses $2,100 in Internet check fraud scheme; Sheriff Pohlmann warns residents not to send money to anyone who sends you a check and asks you to send some of your money back in turn

Posted: August 27th, 2013 | Filed under: Announcements, News Releases, Tips & Resources

In an old scam that is still cheating people, a St. Bernard Parish woman lost $2,100 in an Internet check fraud scheme and Sheriff James Pohlmann is warning residents not to send money to strangers enticing you with checks that turn out to be fake.

“If something looks and feels too good to be true, it’s because it isn’t true,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “Don’t let someone you have never met and correspond with over the Internet steal your hard-earned money by offering you something in return for your money.’’

Similar fraud schemes sometimes start with phone calls to you saying you have won money and asking for a service charge to be sent to them or emails to you about having won something, the sheriff said.

In this latest scam, he said, a woman from eastern St. Bernard Parish reported Aug. 24 she was victimized after searching the Internet and coming across what seemed like a way to earn money.

A web site offered to pay her to rate companies whose products she uses.

On Aug. 15, she received a text message from someone saying she would receive a check for her work, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

But, she was told to take the check, which was for $2,500, and put it in a bank and send a $2,100 money gram to a specific person in Blackwell, Okla.

At that point, Sheriff Pohlmann said, people should sense something is wrong and call the Sheriff’s Office to report the probable fraud scheme because no one should be asking you to send money to them if you legitimately won something or have done work.

In this case, the St. Bernard Parish woman received the $2,500 check, deposited it Aug. 19 and two days later withdrew $2,100 of her money and sent a money gram to the person named.

On Aug. 24, she received a letter from her bank informing the woman the check she deposited was fake and her account was now well overdrawn, the sheriff said.

She then called the Sheriff’s Office to make a report.

“I hate to see anyone go through this misery,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “Please don’t respond to any such offers that require you to send someone money in order for you to allegedly receive money. Call our department at 271-2501 because it is a scheme and we will handle it from there.’’