Police issue warnings after 2 V.I. residents fall prey to Web-based check-cashing scams
Published: September 28, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Police Department is alerting the public not to fall for classic check-cashing scams after two residents responded to criminals advertising their schemes on the Internet and in print media.
According to a press release issued Tuesday by Police spokeswoman Melody Rames, a 32-year-old woman said that she had sent her resume in July to Jobs.com and was contacted for a job as a personal assistant. The victim was told that she would be receiving a check for $2,700 and instructed to deposit it into her account. She also was instructed to wire transfer $2,000 of the money to Maryland for a children's charity.
When she was sent another such check for deposit the following week, the bank told her that the previous check had not cleared, and the account number did not exist, Rames said.
"The victim is left holding the bag in this situation. Since she endorsed the check she may be legally responsible for the check," Rames said.
In the second case, a 56-year-old man responded to an ad promising respondents could earn $300 a week working an hour a day. When he applied, he was accepted to be a check casher, according to Rames.
He told police he was sent three traveler's checks in the mail with instructions to cash the checks, retain 10 percent and send the remainder to an address in China. He became suspicious and took the checks to the bank to check their authenticity and was told they were counterfeit, so he alerted police.
Rames said detectives urged the public to be wary of any offers of employment or compensation that appear "too good to be true" and to report anyone who "offers you a check and then asks you to return a portion of the funds to them."
Jason Robbins, publisher of The Daily News, said the newspaper is taking a vigilant approach to screening ads in case they may be connected to check-cashing schemes.
"The Daily News became aware of this situation because of the public announcement issued by the V.I. Police Department. We have not heard from investigators about the case they publicized, although the issues they described are cause for concern," Robbins said. "We have a number of policies and procedures already in place for reviewing advertisements prior to publication, and in light of this incident we will be reinforcing those efforts. Anyone with concerns about the legitimacy of an advertisement in any of our print or online publications should contact The Daily News at 774-8772."
- Contact Amanda Norris at 714-9104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.