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Forum staff reports, Published August 28 2012

More people reporting financial scams to Fargo police

FARGO – Fargo police say they have seen an increase in the number of people reporting financial scams over the past couple of weeks.

According to a news release from Lt. Joel Vettel:

One of the scams targets victims who have applied online for secret shopper jobs at various websites.

Shortly after applying for the jobs, the victims receive a check in the mail, usually varying from $1,500 to $1,800. The victims are instructed to cash the check, keep a small amount for themselves and send the rest via Western Union to various places.

The victims are notified by their bank a week or so later that the check was counterfeit or invalid and they owe the bank money.

A second scam often involves the elderly.

Police have received several complaints of victims receiving phone calls asking for money. Most of the calls state that they have won money but must pay fees to cover such expenses as taxes and shipping.

Victims are usually directed to go to the store, purchase Green Dot money cards or prepaid debit cards and then call the suspects back and give them the card numbers and PIN numbers.

Vettel said victims should be aware that the phone numbers suspects are calling from change rather quickly and are most likely linked to prepaid phones or TracFones.