ECSO sees rise in fraudulent checks, reminds residents to be aware

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Fraudulent checks are on the rise in Effingham County, but nobody has become a victim of the recent spree.

The Effingham County Sheriff's Office says those who received the checks were able to spot the scam before taking them to the bank. Authorities want to make sure you know what to look for so you don't become a victim.

It may clear the bank like a regular check, but once fraud is detected, the Effingham Co. Sheriff's Office says you become responsible for getting the money back to the bank.

The sheriff's office has received three fraudulent checks within the last week-and-a-half. Investigators say the intended victims thought something was suspicious.

The three checks all stemmed from purchases made over Craig's List. The buyer wrote the checks out for more than half the price of the item. The buyer then asked sellers to send the remaining balance back either in cash or a green dot card.

"If they're asking you to pay with a money card, you can purchase from Walmart. If they're asking you to do a wire transfer with money orders or accounts, it's a guaranteed scam. You will lose your money and probably not get in back," Effingham Co. Sheriff's Office Investigator, Bobby McQuaig, said.

It's becoming easier and more convenient for people to sell items over the internet and social media. If you're one of those sellers or buyers, investigators say keep this information in mind: Go with your gut. With purchases made over sites like Facebook, take a look at the buyer's or seller's profile. If the seller or buyer wants to meet you in person, meet in a public place. To avoid fraudulent checks, let people know that you'll only accept cash.

Those who live in Effingham County who feel as if they might be getting scammed can call the Effingham Co. Sheriff's Office at 912.754.3449 for insight.

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