St. Joseph. Missouri
Sergeant Dan Sweiger
Sergeant Dave Hart
The internet is a great tool; however anything can have a dark side. Over the years, the online scams have continued to increase. The most troubling part is the complexity and apparent authenticity associated with the new scams. The last few years revealed various email scams about people in third world countries having difficulty cashing checks for large sums of money and they need your help. The emails are usually written in broken English and are difficult to read. After responding to the email, you are sent counterfeit cashiers checks with specific instructions to use a wire transfer to return the money to your new found friend. Of course you keep a small fee for your trouble and everyone is happy. Later, you receive the call from your bank that the $3500.00 check you cashed was counterfeit and now you owe the money or face criminal charges. The new trend shows the crooks are getting smarter. Phishing scams are becoming complex and targeting consumers pretending to be banks and credit unions. The new scams are so sophisticated and complex it's difficult to determine the validity without further inquiry.
How does one protect themselves from falling victim to a scam? The following "red flags" are good indicators of a scam:
Below are some examples received by the St. Joseph Police Department:
The one phrase that still holds true, even in today's technical world; "If it sounds too good to be true, it is!"