A Facebook post requesting the services of a nanny to care for a child in Hood County seemed believable enough.
A 30-year-old Arrowhead Shores woman saw the post on a buy-sell-trade Facebook page used by Granbury-area residents and sent a message inquiring about the job.
The man told the woman he sent her a check for $2,450, stating she needed to keep $455 and send the rest of the money to a woman he said was in Virginia. He quickly contacted her again, however, claiming that something went wrong and that he would be sending her a second check that had the correct wording.
“She never got the first check,” according to Hood County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Gary Morris. “He emailed and said something was wrong with that check.”
That’s when the story fell apart.
“She took (the second check) to the bank and verified it was a fake check, and then she called us,” Morris said.
The Sheriff’s Office was notified of the attempted scam on Oct. 3, he said.
The scam is just one more in an extensive list of methods crooks use to try to separate unsuspecting people from their money. Information posted online can sometimes provide scammers with information they can use in their schemes.
“It’s a mind game – that’s all it is – to make themselves be believable,” Morris said, urging residents to be cautious when they are contacted by anyone they don’t know.
Morris said do whatever needs to be done to check out any offers or demands involving money.
“More than likely it’s going to be a scam if somebody asks you to pay up front, or if they ask you to send some money to a third party and keep the rest,” Morris advised. “The first thing you should do is take that check to the bank so it can be verified. Do not deposit it because you will be responsible for the money.”
Morris warned that social media sites, in some cases, make things easier for crooks.
“If you are not protecting your Facebook page (via privacy settings), other people get on it and they learn about you,” the investigator said. “We’re too free with our information, and crooks know that.”
Morris said that type of scam could carry a Class A misdemeanor count of attempted theft.
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