make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Internet check scam

READ MORE: Wilmington woman targeted by Internet check scam
WILMINGTON -- Counterfeit check scams are common crimes on the internet. Muriel Ledbetter fell for it. "I had nothing to lose, how could a money order be fraud?" she said. Ledbetter advertised expensive pieces of jewelry on the popular re-sell site Craigslist. She was selling the jewelry at a bargain price around $700. Just a few days later someone was interested, a man named George. "He asked me to remove it off Craigslist immediately and he would pay me an additional amount of dollars to do that." That's when Ledbetter received two $850 money orders -- one to cover the jewelry purchase and the second to cash in, then buy a new money order to send the cash to a so-called shipper on George's behalf. She cooperated and ended up out of the money while he ended up with a real money order. Adding more insult, the bogus money orders kept coming. "This morning I received a FedEx package with four money orders this time in the amount of $850." Ledbetter went straight to the police and they found they were fraudulent. Bank of America says Ledbetter still owes them $1,700. "There's no insurance. Apparently the tellers don't know their job; I feel they should have been able to tell if these were fraud or not. I think it's terrible that people can prey on someone like this". Craigslist posts a disclaimer on the site warning users to be careful.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


I received two beautifully

I received two beautifully inked company checks in the mail a couple of months ago for over $20,000.00, for "winning" a sweepstakes. All I had to do was cash the checks and send a processing fee to the Canadian sweepstakes company. The checks were drawn on a well-known corporation in the U.S. I held the checks up to my black light---security features were prominent, even though I knew the checks were bogus, because I'd never entered a sweepstakes in Canada. I have worked in the financial industry, and these checks certainly appeared to be genuine. I called the company that the checks were purportedly drawn on and reported my findings. They didn't even care. Someone who DOES care is NC Attorney General Roy Cooper. I suggest that you contact him when you encounter people who throw money at you.

Maybe, if she's lucky....

...she will have a long-lost uncle who will have died in Zaire and left her twenty million US dollars. Simply be sending her bank account number to the e-mail address as instructed, she will soon be wealthy!

I know

I do take fault here. i did nnot read as i should story was to help others not fall for the same thing i did. So if u want to be mean then go ahead, i was only trying to help

not teller fault

I think your own comment is what most people are upset with... While the public in general appreciates your telling your story in hopes that you can help save someone else, the comment that the bank tellers don't know their job sounds as though your are putting the blame on them. It is not their job to be sure the check is legit prior to deposit. If the check looks fake, that is one thing. With high quality computers and printers available to the public the fact is fake checks, money orders, and even bills can be printed to look real. The teller could be held at fault only if the check looked suspicious. "There's no insurance. Apparently the tellers don't know their job; I feel they should have been able to tell if these were fraud or not. I think it's terrible that people can prey on someone like this".

Kudos to you for coming

Kudos to you for coming forward Muriel. It took courage to admit that you got scammed and to try to help others. DO NOT take personally the comments of these jaded know-it-alls who actually know nothing but who insult anonymously on this board. You're awesome!

Thank you for coming

Thank you for coming forward, Muriel. Too often people don't, for fear of being berated and embarrassed. Fact is, there are a lot of people who have never heard of this scam, and people like you who come out and share their experiences might just help one of those from being scammed as well. Best of luck to you :)

I can't believe you would

I can't believe you would put this off on the tellers at the bank, you are the one that was stupid enough to fall for the scam, I looks to me like you dont know your job!

Check scam widely publicized

Amen! This scam and many like it have been widely publicized. I have been hearing about versions of it for months, if not longer. In addition, Ms Ledbetter's banking agreement most likely states that SHE is ultimately responsible if a deposited item is later returned for whatever reason. Bottom line...if it sounds too good to be probably is.


So no red flags went off in your mind when more than double your asking price showed up? Just like P.T. Barnum said... "There's a sucker born every minute" P.T Barnum

No kidding. What sense is

No kidding. What sense is there in asking someone to cash one money order just to purchase another for the same amount and forward it on? You'd have to be amazingly naive to fall for this.

for real

E-Bay/Paypal its safe. You sell it, Paypal collects for you and puts the money in your acct. Craig's List is only a place for sex trading anyway.

Paypal Safe?

Don't let e-Bay management woo you into thinking paypal is safe. I was taken for $50 from a Paypal credit card payment that turned out to be from a stolen credit card. The buyer did not have a confirmed Paypal address. It was months after the auction before Paypal notified me that they were deducting $50 from my account. When selling, demand that the buyer has a verified Paypal address. How this stolen credit card passed the litmus test for eBay and Paypal when this person signed up is above me. On the bright side, eBay and Paypal got their money!

Seller Warning

Craig's List has a distinct warning when you post an item for sale. She must not have read the warning they email to sellers with the post approval link. "Please be wary of distant 'buyers' responding to your ad! Many sellers receive replies from scammers hoping to defraud them through schemes involving counterfeit cashier's checks and/or wire transfers. These checks will clear the bank, but the person cashing the check will be held responsible when the fraud is discovered. More info on scams can be found at this web address:" Pretty clear to me. I am surprised that people are still falling for this scam. It has been heavily reported in all types of media. Regarding an earlier comment --- eBay itself isn't foolproof. Paypal may offer protection, but there are many sellers that accept other forms of payment. You could just as easily use Paypal to collect for items sold on Craigs List or In fact anyone wanting to accept a credit card payment can use the Paypal service, not just the eBay community. I have used it several times in my business.