CS Police UpdateFeatured Stories, Interviews Friday, February 1st, 2013
This week’s update from the College Station Police Department includes information about a returning scam targeting renters and leasers, those recognized at the recent awards ceremony, and still looking for a missing person from last November.
Details on the latest scam:
Local law enforcement agencies are continuing to see reports of people falling victim to counterfeit check scams. We are finding that many of our victims are being contacted through Craig’s List, EBay, “work at home” classified ads and even Yahoo messenger accounts. The following tips were provided by the National Consumers League Internet Fraud Watch. If someone you don’t know wants to pay you by check but wants you to wire some of the money back, beware! It’s a scam that could cost you thousands of dollars.
There are many variations of the fake check scam. It could start with someone offering to buy something you advertised, pay you to do work at home, give you an “advance” on a sweepstakes you’ve supposedly won, or pay the first installment on the millions that you’ll receive for agreeing to have money in a foreign country transferred to your bank account for safekeeping. Whatever the pitch, the person may sound quite believable.
Fake check scammers hunt for victims. They scan newspaper and online advertisements for people listing items for sale and check postings on online job sites from people seeking employment. They place their own ads with phone numbers or email addresses for people to contact them. And they call or send emails or faxes to people randomly, knowing that some will take the bait.
They often claim to be in another country. The scammers say it’s too difficult and complicated to send you the money directly from their country, so they’ll arrange for someone in the U.S. to send you a check.
They tell you to wire money to them after you’ve deposited the check. If you’re selling something, they say they’ll pay you by having someone in the U.S. who owes them money send you a check. It will be for more than the sale price; you deposit the check, keep what you’re owed, and wire the rest to them. If it’s part of a work-at-home scheme, they may claim that you’ll be processing checks from their “clients.” You deposit the checks and then wire them the money minus your “pay.” Or they may send you a check for more than your pay “by mistake” and ask you to wire them the excess. In the sweepstakes and foreign money offer variations of the scam, they tell you to wire them money for taxes, customs, bonding, processing, legal fees, or other expenses that must be paid before you can get the rest of the money.
The checks are fake but they look real. In fact, they look so real that even bank tellers may be fooled. Some are phony cashier’s checks, others look like they’re from legitimate business accounts. The companies whose names appear may be real, but someone has altered the checks without their knowledge.
You don’t have to wait long to use the money, but that doesn’t mean the check is good. Under federal law, banks have to make the funds you deposit available quickly – usually within one to five days, depending on the type of check. But just because you can withdraw the money doesn’t mean the check is good, even if it’s a cashier’s check. It can take weeks for the forgery to be discovered and the check to bounce.
You are responsible for the checks you deposit. That’s because you’re in the best position to determine the risk – you’re the one dealing directly with the person who is arranging for the check to be sent to you. When a check bounces, the bank deducts the amount that was originally credited to your account. If there isn’t enough to cover it, the bank may be able to take money from other accounts you have at that institution, or sue you to recover the funds
There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back. If a stranger wants to pay you for something, insist on a cashiers check for the exact amount, preferably from a local bank or a bank that has a branch in your area.
Details on the continuing search for a teenage runaway:
On November 9th, officers with the College Station Police Department were contacted regarding a runaway. Officers were told that Cedric Deon Fielder had left his mother’s home without permission. Fielder left the home traveling in an unknown direction. Since that time investigators have spent numerous hours attempting to locate Fielder. He is no longer answering telephone calls from the police department. Investigators believe that he is safe somewhere in the Bryan/College Station area and they are requesting assistance in locating Fielder. Fielder is described as a black male, 16 years of age.
On Thursday, January 31st, the College Station Police Department held their annual awards ceremony to recognize employee accomplishments for the calendar year of 2012.
Chief of Police Jeff Capps and the College Station Police Department would like to congratulate the following award winners.
Medals of Honor were presented to Officer Andy Murph, Officer Travis Lacox, Officer Brad Smith, and Officer Chad Jones.
Police Officer of the Year – Officer Travis Sullivan
Sworn Supervisor of the Year – Sgt. Matthew Ford
Rookie of the Year- Officer Jason Smith
Communications Operator of the Year – Melissa Adams
Civilian Employee of the Year – Records Technician Paula Guyton
Cross of Galantry- Officer Justin Oehlke
Outstanding Service Awards were presented to Officer Phil Dorsett, Officer Jeffrey Durham, Deputy City Marshall Kelvin Dawson, Detective Derick Cooper, Communications Supervisor Brian Hagen, Detention Officers Shannon Ballard, Olivia-Joy Carrillo, Ashley Arredondo, Talena Butters, and Ashley Carroll.
Outstanding Unit Citation was given to the Recruiting and Training Division. Its members are Lt. Steven Brock, Sgt. Thomas Brown, Officer Rhonda Seaton, and Officer Jaime Urbina.
The CSPD Citizen Award was given to the person who provided intricate details related to the suspect’s description in the Fidelity St. Shooting while summonsing help for his friend who had been wounded.
And recognized for 25 Years of Service as Members of CSPD Chaplain Program were Chaplains Danny Duron and Peter Tarlow.
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