Redding Police: Recent increase in online scams

Apr 4, 2014 1:20 PM

The Redding Police Department says there has been a recent increase in scams including a fake lottery, email offers and online scams.

The email scam is an “at home” job opportunity where the scammers send the potential employee a fraudulent check for supplies and salary. The check amount is usually above and beyond what is needed for the job so the scammers request to have the remaining balance from the check sent back to them via money order.

According to Police, in another scheme suspects tell people they won a sweepstakes or lottery contest. The victims receive a check with a letter saying they won an unsolicited contest from out of the country. They are sent directions on how to claim the prize, and cash the fraudulent check. The scammers tell the victim there is a processing fee for winning the contest and the victim is advised to cash the check and send the “processing fee” back via money order or money wire.

Police say a third scheme involves classified advertisement fraud on websites. The scammers will reply to online ads about items for sale. The scammer offers to send a check to the victim for a larger amount than the asking price. The scammer will ask the victim to cash the check and send the remaining balance back via money order. Some victims have sent the item for sale to the scammer, believing the check is legitimate.

The Redding Police Department recommends the following tips to prevent becoming a victim of fraud:

Online sellers should be cautious when dealing with people who want to buy items sight unseen. People who want to send a seller more money than the asking price should be viewed with suspicion.

Winners of raffle contests typically need to enter the contest before having any hope of winning. The company conducting the raffle should never ask you to send them money.

Legitimate businesses do not accept gift cards as payment.

Have your bank verify funds with any suspicious checks before taking action.

Verify the identity of any alleged government employee by calling the listed number (from the phone book or official internet site) for that agency.


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