Police warn of scams

Glastonbury - posted May, 21 2013

GLASTONBURY - Try to imagine this scenario: you answer an employment add for a nanny position. The person you call says that the position was filled but the person refers you to a man by the name of Mr.Henry. You think maybe he has a position available so you contact him via e-mail. Mr. Henry contacts you and tells you that he owns a steel company and does business in the United States. He offers you a simple business opportunity to make some money. The deal is Mr. Henry sends you checks and you cash them. You keep a large portion for yourself and wire the rest of the money via Western Union. You receive a U.S Postal Service money order and you cash it, after the teller at the bank told you it was a good check. You then send the agreed portion via Western Union to Mr. Henry. You receive another U.S Postal money order and you do the same thing. Now the third money order comes and before you can send it you find out that the first two checks were fake. This happened to a woman in Glastonbury and it cost her total of $970 dollars. While wire transfer of money can sometimes be a useful tool, it is definitely a favorite of con artists. When someone asks you to wire money, via one of the commercial services, you should become suspicious and ask yourself: “Am I being conned?” If you are dealing with someone you don’t know, the answer may be obvious. Favorite ploys are overpayment, meaning the fraudster pretends that they accidentally sent too much money due to a miscommunication with an associate, and want you to wire the balance back. Historically, fraudsters respond to “for sale” adds on Craigslist or other sources, and would sometimes pretend the overage was for “shipping” and wanted you to wire the money to a third party. Again, the commonality is wiring money to someone you don’t know. Recently we have seen fraudsters contracting for services needed while traveling in your area. Services which they want to pre-pay with a check that is for more money than they owe, and request the overage be wired back to them. They choose wiring the money because it can be untraceable. Another type of fraud sometimes involves “secret shoppers” or “work at home” processing payments. Most of us know, if it is too good to be true then it probably is. When someone is offering you $1000 dollars a week to cash checks from home, running them through your own bank account, and then wiring the money to someone you don’t; know, well, you have to wonder, why don’t they just cash the checks themselves? But we know the real answer. If you have any specific questions, or topics that you would like address in the Public Safety Corner, please do not hesitate to contact The Glastonbury Police Department’s Community Outreach Office at 860-652-4286.

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