The Richmond Register

Local News

June 3, 2010

Police warn of fake check scam

RICHMOND — Richmond police are warning of more fake check scams circulating through the mail, Chief Larry Brock said Wednesday.

The latest scam involved a job application through the online classifieds site Craigslist, Brock said.

A Jason Drive resident reported to police that after applying for a job with a firm called Aramax International through Craigslist, he received a FedEx package with a check for $3,500.

The check was drawn on the account of a Miami firm called TR International from a Citibank checking account, and the memo line indicated the check was for “office supplies,” Brock said.

No instructions or information were included with the check, Brock said. When the Richmond resident contacted the return address on the package, the sender said he had received a similar check but was unaware of what it was related to.

Brock said the check was likely related to a check-cashing scam that uses fake checks to steal money from people who deposit them.

Another scam involves an alleged “consumer promotion draw” sweepstakes that claims to include customers of Walmart, Sears, Home Depot and Safeway, Brock said.

The scam includes a check made out to the recipient and instructions to deposit the check and send a portion to another party via Western Union, Brock said.

In at least one case, a Richmond resident received a check drawn on a fake account in the name of North Carolina-based utility company Duke Energy, Brock said.

Anyone who receives such a solicitation in the mail is warned to ignore it and to contact police or the Better Business Bureau.

Other crimes

• An estimated $3,000 in electrical wiring and copper pipes were reported stolen Monday from a home under renovation in the 300 block of High Street.

The contractor told police the items were taken over the weekend while the house was not secure, Brock said. Two rolls of wiring were taken along with the copper pipes.

• Items valued at $2,400 were reported stolen from a pair of apartments in the 1000 block of Danielle Court over the weekend.

The first burglary was reported Monday, when a Vera Bradley makeup bag, a Dell laptop computer, a flat-screen television, jewelry, change, checkbooks and ladies’ underwear were said to be missing, Brock said. Police later learned a nearby apartment also had been broken into and an LG flat-screen television was taken.

• An Apple iPod touch and a Garmin GPS unit were reported stolen from a vehicle parked outside a home in the 100 block of Lancaster Court on Monday, Brock said. The items were valued at $575.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call the Richmond Police Department at 623-1162 or 623-8911.

Brian Smith may be reached at bsmith@richmondregister.com or at 624-6694. For breaking news, follow Brian at www.twitter.com/RR_BSmith.

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