If you have ever received a false phone call or letter that has told you you’ve won a sum of money or a free vacation, you are not alone. Fraud comes in many forms. One women Claire Michaud from Saint Agatha checked her mail one morning, and came across a check.
Claire said, ”I’ve received checks like this before and letters and what happened checks from the past, many of them I knew right away that they were fraudulent and I would write void on them or shred them up.”
However the one she received this day looked very real, confused by the authenticity of the check, Claire brought the check into the bank for further examination.
“I went up to credit union and the lady there looked it up and saw water marks and she said wow! There getting good.”
Claire told us that letter that she received with the 3,950 dollar check, stated that the money was to be used as a processing fee to win a larger amount of money. However when the person goes to cash the check, it bounces leaving the person in debt. Lieutenant of the state police Troop F in Houlton, John Cote told us that this is a common scam.
“They want to send you a check and in return for depositing a thousand dollars you get to keep two thousand dollars and by the time everything boils down it’s a fraudulent check, the account is kind of a fictitious account that the money get sent to and the person on the local level is out thousands of dollars.” John Cote told us.
To avoid being scammed yourself Cote told us a few tips. If you are selling something, beware of people who offer you more money on it, if someone comes to your house, write down their licence plate number so when you contact the police they will at least have a starting point. You can also visit the Maine Attorney Generals office, under the consumer protection area, where a list of scams is posted. As for Claire, she wants everyone to know that this could happen to anyone.
Claire’s message to others is, “It had me thinking a while even when I know about scam, that scam, and it had me almost had, so be careful unsuspecting public out there. Be careful.”