Odd target of scam shows we're all vulnerable - CBS46 News

Odd target of scam shows we're all vulnerable

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BROWARD COUNTY, FL (CONSUMER ALERT) -

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel asked his detectives to inspect two checks he received in the mail.

"I knew right away these companies didn't owe me money. I guess you're kind of offended even as the sheriff to find out even these crooks feel that even I'm not impervious to the these scams," Israel said.

The con men obviously chose the wrong target. And that's the point - we're all vulnerable to scams.

"There is no legitimate reason for somebody to send you a check or money order in the mail and ask you to wire money back to them," said US Postal Inspector Blanca Alvarez.

There may be no reason, but this is one typical way con-artists are luring victims into several schemes including the so-called mystery shopper scam.

"They ask you to take a check or money order they send you and deposit it into your own bank account," Alvarez said.

Then you purchase an item, complete the mystery shopper questionnaire about the experience and wire back the remaining money from the original check.

"A few weeks later you find out that they check or money order you deposited to your account was counterfeit," said Alvarez.

So victims are on the hook for the entire amount lost.

"Never wire money to someone you don't know because once you wire the money, it's gone and it's almost impossible to get back," said Alvarez.

"If these individuals are going to send a check or try to commit a scam and the victim is going to be the sheriff of Broward County, they will do it to anybody," Israel said.

Postal inspector say checks, as well as counterfeit money orders are often sent through the mail, so be on the lookout for both.

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