The Sheriff’s Office is issuing a reminder that citizens should be very skeptical if contacted by someone asking them to make money transfers to third parties as part of a purchase or transaction through a telephone solicitation or online source.
A citizen recently reported that he had advertised something for sale on Craigslist. He was contacted by another party expressing an interest in making the purchase. The prospective buyer sent a fraudulent paper check to the seller for $1,750 MORE than the cost of the item. The buyer asked the seller to deposit this check and then immediately send the balance to a third party via a transfer through Western Union.
Upon close examination, the check was determined to be fraudulent, with a signature lifted from an online site and affixed to the check. The signature was that of A. C. Rutherford, who was the Premier of Alberta, Canada from 1905 to 1910 and who died in 1941. The signature on the check was lifted from his Wikipedia page.
This is an old scam that occasionally targets citizens in this community. Members of the public should remain vigilant and not succumb to scams of this sort. There will likely be no way in which to recover lost funds if you become a victim of this type of scheme.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff