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Fairmont Police News

Sale Ad Alert 03/2008

March 21, 2008 - 11:49 AM

Fairmont Police are advising residents of another twist on a fraudulent check scam that has surfaced more frequently over the last year. Victims of this particular scam are exposed when they post their personal items for sale. The postings could be anywhere, such as on-line shopper pages, EBay or auction sites, auto-trader networks (boats, ATV, snowmobile) and other classified advertisements both printed and on-line.

The scam occurs when the seller is contacted by a suspect about the item for sale. Sometimes, the seller will just receive a check in the mail with instructions how to complete the transaction. The check is always for an amount greater than the asking price of the item for sale. Usually, instructions are included that ask the victim to cash the check, keep the purchase price portion and then wire or send the rest on to a third party. Once deposited or cashed, the check comes back later through banking channels as fraudulent. This often takes many days to detect. The seller becomes responsible for the full amount, including any money wired back to the fraudulent purchaser.

One such report received by the Fairmont Police Department in recent weeks was a complaint of a resident trying to sell a pickup truck for $3,600. The seller received a cashier's check in mail for $4,600 from a bank in Chicago. Along with the check were instructions to cash the check, keep the payment amount, and wire the excess $1,000 for delivery to a person in Ohio. In this circumstance the seller was suspicious and called the bank discovering that the cashier's check was fraudulent prior to deposit.

Another incident had the victim trying to sell a pet on a free internet classified add. The pet was listed for $400.00. The victim was contacted by email and then received a check for $3,500.00. They were instructed to keep $500.00 and wire the $3,000.00 to the person they had arranging the shipping of the pet. The check was counterfeit, but they had already wired the money so they were out $3,000.00. The seller was required to make payment to the bank for the full amount of the counterfeit check.

The Fairmont Police Department urges citizens to be ever cautious when accepting unsolicited offers or checks from a person they do not know. If a resident has doubts about the validity of a check or wire transfer request, please consult with your local bank. Also, understand that a credible bank's name can be duplicated, so it is advisable to work with your own banker to determine the authenticity of checks you receive.

 

 

Residential Burglary Alert

March 21, 2008 - 11:48 AM

The Citizen Alert is intended to advise you of criminal activity that may affect you or your community. If you have questions or suspect information, call the issuing law enforcement agency shown below. Your identity can remain confidential.

Overview

The Fairmont Police Department needs your help and cooperation! A burglary is reported every 15 seconds in the United States. Two out of every three burglaries were residential in nature and criminalists believe that if all break-ins were reported, one in every four homes in the US were burglarized in 1995. Burglaries have declined recently in the US but there is still cause for concern.

During the last three months Fairmont citizens have reported several residential burglaries that we believe are related. Nine of these burglaries were occupied dwellings. Five of them have occurred between the hours of 1AM and 6AM. The suspect(s) are primarily focused on taking cash. However, food, power tools and alcohol have also been stolen. During several of the burglaries the homeowners have been awakened and have confronted the burglar. On all but one occasion there was no forced entry- the burglar has just entered through unlocked doors. Residents are urged to lock your doors as a basic form of prevention. No vehicles have been seen or heard leaving the area so we believe the burglar has been on foot or riding a bicycle. The suspect(s) have been described as tall (5'9" to 5'11"), with a medium build and usually wearing dark clothing and carrying a flashlight.

Although Fairmont Police are working on a few suspects, we need your help. A cash reward leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) is available through Crimestoppers.

Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe from burglars. Always lock your doors, including garage walk-throughs. Install or maintain motion lights around entry points. Talk to your neighbors and let them know when you will be out of town. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to prevent hiding spots. Call 238-4481 immediately if you see someone acting suspicious in your neighborhood. Call 911 if you detect an intruder in your house or garage. Do not confront the intruder, just get a good description and call the police right away.

Call the Fairmont Police Department at 238-4481 and ask for a crime prevention officer if you have an anonymous tip or if you would like a free home security inspection. Thank you for taking these basic security measures.

Second Chance Ebay Offers Alert

March 21, 2008 - 11:48 AM

The practice of fraudulent 2nd chance e-bay offers continues to increase each year. Sales on-line are becoming a regular part of many peoples buying habits and e-bay is a major source for on-line auctions. The majority of sales go smoothly and both the seller and buyer are content. But criminals take advantage of a bidder’s desire to win an auction bid.

The fraud works like this. You bid on an item but when the bidding stops you did not get the high bid. A week or two may go by then a criminal sends you an e-mail through e-bay stating you have a second chance offer on the item you bid on because the high bidder could not complete the transaction. The e-mail contains a link to the original e-bay page containing the item you had bid on. You see the real listing of the item and that it was sold for the high bid, but you’ve just been informed it never took place. You respond that you will purchase the item for your original bid, usually a little less than the highest bid.

The criminal then sends you an official looking e-bay security page that promises theft protection and insurance. You may be asked to give a deposit. Everything looks great, but it’s not. You are then instructed how to send the money via wire transfer (Western Union, Money Gram, etc). You send the money and list the address given by the criminal, usually something within the U.S. What you may not know, is that once you e-mail back the wire transfer code to the criminal the money can be picked up almost anywhere in the world. To collect the money official ID’s are often not required or they are fake.

If you decide to participate in on-line auctions, especially 2nd chance e-bay offers be careful. You may think that you are protected by e-bay but you will be informed that you acted outside of e-bay, which you did, but you just didn’t know it. Take the time to do some research. Contact the original seller from the information listed on the official e-bay auction page, not from information given to you via e-mail. Make sure you’re being asked to send money to the same state that is listed by the original seller. Contact e-bay directly from their website to see if the offer is legitimate.

If you feel that you have been the victim of a fraud involving a wire transfer contact your local law enforcement immediately. The chance of recovering money that has been wire transferred is slim becuase it's meant to be a guarantee of payment just like cash. But the sooner law enforcement can look into the matter the better the chance of seizing the money if the fraud can be verified.

Remember, buyer beware!

Fraudulent FDIC Emails

March 21, 2008 - 11:48 AM

The Citizen Alert is intended to advise you of criminal activity that may affect you or your community. If you have questions or suspect information, call the issuing law enforcement agency shown below. Your identity can remain confidential.

Overview

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PR-38-2004 (4-07-2004) Media Contact:
David Barr 202-898-6992

The FDIC has received complaints from consumers who received an e-mail that appears to have been sent by the FDIC. The e-mail is purportedly from security at fdic.com and the subject is fraud report. The e-mail informs recipients that their bank account has been temporarily closed because of fraudulent activity. The e-mail directs the recipient to review the contents of an embedded attached file for details related to the fraudulent activity as well as for information on how to contact the FDIC.

The e-mail was not sent by the FDIC and may be a fraudulent attempt to implant a computer virus onto the recipient’s computer or to obtain personal information from consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should not access the link or attached files provided within the body of the e-mail and should not under any circumstances provide any personal information to unknown sources.

Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation’s banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation’s 9,182 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars – insured financial institutions fund its operations.

FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet via the World Wide Web at www.fdic.gov and can also be obtained through the FDIC’s Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or 202-416-6940).

Level III Sex Offender Change of Address

March 21, 2008 - 11:48 AM

In addition to level two notification (schools and daycares as well as establishments and Organizations that primarily serve individuals likely to be victimized by the offender), law enforcement may notify other members of the community whom the offender is likely to encounter.

Troy Leroy Dykes

DOB: 07/10/1966
Race: White Hispanic: No
Height: 5' 8" Eyes: Blue
Weight: 177 lbs. Hair: Brown
Complexion: Fair
Build: Medium
Registration statute(s): 609.343 & 609.345
Investigating agency: Jackson Police Department
Supervision agent: Not applicable - sentence expired
Offense: Offender has a history of sexual contact with juvenile females (age 12-13). Contact has included fondling and penetration. Offender was known to victims.
Address: 100 block Webster Street, Fairmont, MN 56031.
Date of address change: 04/11/2008

Change of Address Information - PDF

Lottery and Prize-winning Frauds

March 21, 2008 - 11:47 AM

The Citizen Alert is intended to advise you of criminal activity that may affect you or your community. If you have questions or suspect information, call the issuing law enforcement agency shown below. Your identity can remain confidential.

Overview

The Fairmont Police Department has again seen a significant increase in the number of reported lottery or prize-winning frauds. The frauds have been sent mostly via mail to various citizens. The fraud informs the recipient that they have won a lottery that requires a deposit or payment to secure or receive the funds. The letter often includes an official looking letter, a business or cashiers check, and a number to contact. The letter typically asks that you cash the check and mail the money to a specific address or that you contact the number provided and follow the instructions. These frauds have included, but are not limited to, the Royal British Lotto, Novest International Inc, Australian Power Ball and Brewster's Large Cash Lottery. The actual name of the fraudulent lottery continues to change.

As we have advised before, these frauds are becoming better organized and are producing much more realistic fraudulent checks than ever before. Don't be a victim! Several signs of a fraud are receiving notice that you won cash for something you never entered. Receiving mail postmarked or stamped from Canada but the check is printed to be from a U.S. Bank. Receiving a contact number that is international or Canadian. The inclusion of a disclaimer advising you not to tell anyone about the prize, or that time is of the essence now, are strong signs of a possible fraud. Also being asked to pay processing or clearance fees for a cash prize by cashing an unsolicited check.

The frauds also extend to the Internet and the sometimes the phone. You may see a pop up screen asking you to enter a lottery, or receive a phone call asking for personal information. If you provide personal information (Name, mailing address, etc) you just gave a scam artist the information needed to send you a letter informing you of a fraudulent prize.

The fraudulent methods that are used to commit these crimes continue to evolve and change. Be very suspicious of the letters or offers described above. Contact your bank for verification and explain the circumstances surrounding the check or contact your local law enforcement. If you cash a check that is returned as fraudulent you will be responsible for the payment in the end.