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Check Scheme Targets Weslaco Woman

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Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:38 PM

Updated: Nov 9, 2012 7:11 PM

WESLACO - A Craigslist posting drew the attention of a national check-cashing scheme, a Weslaco woman said.

Yasmin Chapa listed an audio mixer for sale on the website. The asking price was $700. A day later a prospective buyer contacted her husband to close the deal.

The check arrived, but something made the Chapa suspect it was fake. The amount on the check was $1,970.

"We got the check last night," Chapa said.

She said the buyer offered to pay more to cover shipping costs. Chapa was supposed to send back any money left over.

That was the first red flag, she said.

"You can get a new mixer for $1,200," she said.

The check was the second red flag, Chapa said.

"The guy contacted my husband on Oct. 31, and the date on the check is Oct. 9," she said.

The certified envelope and check originated on opposite sides of the country. The address on the envelope is from New Jersey, and the check is from California.

The check is from a lighting company. CHANNEL 5 NEWS called the company to inquire about the transaction.

A spokesman for the company said they've found 10 fake checks in the past three days. All the checks had legitimate company information, including the routing number.

A real-looking check from a real company is supposed to lure people into depositing it into their accounts. Once deposited the account holder becomes responsible for that money.

"It was going to be bad on my account," Chapa said. She didn't take the bait.

The spokesman for the company in California said people send thousands of fake checks hoping to get a few dozen people to take the bait. His concern is how the defrauders got their information.

Topics: yasmin chapa, craigslist, scam, check

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