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The original item was published from 2/16/2010 9:58:34 AM to 3/2/2010 12:00:05 AM.

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Fort Morgan Police Department News

Posted on: February 16, 2010

[ARCHIVED] Weekly Crime Information Alert

February 15, 2010
Weekly Crime Information Alert
A Public Service Announcement
By Community Resource Officer Roger Doll
Online Purchase Scam

Fort Morgan Police are reminding residents to be careful about online purchases, especially when requested to wire money to an unfamiliar location.

Earlier this month, police were called to a report of a wire fraud where a local resident lost $2,800 in a scam that is common online and uses a third party escrow account.

The victim in this case was attempting to purchasing a vehicle from out of state and was instructed to use what they thought was a familiar escrow service. They were told to wire the funds to the escrow company and the company would hold the money until the vehicle arrived and the purchase was approved by the buyer.

Unfortunately, the information given was false and the victim was duped into wiring money to a phony account. The thief retrieved the wired currency and the victim lost a substantial amount of money.

Con-artists use familiar sounding company names or websites like E-bay or Pay-pal to lure their victims into believing the deal is legitimate. Unfortunately, once money is wired, the thief can collect it with little chance of being caught.

Police suggest when making an online purchase to verify escrow account websites yourself, don’t assume a website suggested by the seller is legitimate. Never give banking account information to a seller for a direct money transfer and use extreme caution when you are being asked to wire money for a purchase before you have received the merchandise.

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