Cars bought with fake money orders - CBS46 News

Cars bought with fake money orders

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ATLANTA (CONSUMER ALERT) -

The owner of a used car dealership was questioned by two banks after customers used counterfeit money orders to buy cars on his lot.

"They bought two cars from us, and we were very happy and confident and we didn't think of any problem," said Ej Ahmad.

The total sale price for both vehicles was $12,000. The men put down a $9,000 deposit in money orders.

"He agreed they could take the cars home that night, because they lived locally and they would be back the next morning to complete the transaction," said US Postal Inspector Mark Viggiano.

But the suspects never returned and Ahmad was on the hook for the full $12,000 price tag.

Inspectors say counterfeit money orders are a growing problem and somewhat easy to distinguish from the real thing.

For instance, there's a metallic security thread woven into real money orders. On a fake, it's printed on the outside. Also, real money orders have a watermark on Benjamin Franklin on the far left side. On a counterfeit the watermark is printed on the paper.

Ahmad said he'll no longer treat money orders like cash.

"We should have done probably little more research into and know exactly what they were doing," he said.

Creating a fake money order is a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison.

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