Internet Cashier Check Scam Hits Logan, UT - AD USERS READ THIS!
Today, a USU student informed TrueAggie that they nearly fell victim to a classic internet scam involving a fake cashiers check and refund request. Other TrueAggie.com users were also contacted by this same scam artist - claiming to be in Canada, yet with an IP that traces to Turkey or Africa.
cathymauger is the offending username (now banned) - be suspicious of ANY correspondence asking to pay with a cashiers check, requesting refunds or wire transfers, or ask to send money out of the country. Read the rest of the story for more information and updates, and how to protect yourself from similar scams...
On Sept. 14th, 2006, a user registered on TrueAggie.com using the name cathymauger.
After registration, cathymauger proceeded to email several USU students who had listed their apartment contracts for sale.
The email was repeated verbatim in response to several ads:
hello am cathy mauger i am interested in renting this apartment of urs cos i would be moving to ur area soon to take on an employment oppurtunity given to me.i a
Today, Sept. 28th, TrueAggie was made aware that at least one USU student responded to the email, accepted an offer for the contract, and deposited the funds that arrived in the form of a cashiers check - several thousand dollars OVER what was decided on between the two parties.
With the offer came a request to return the overage, claiming the "employer" who was paying the expense had inadvertently made the check out for too much.
After almost wiring $3,000, this student was tipped off by the wire company, and then informed by her bank that the cashiers check was a forgery. Police and the bank were informed and are doing what they can.
TrueAggie has sent emails to all the other ads that cathymaugercontacted. We also attempted to trace the IP addresses used to register the name and access the site - 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206.rmts.satcom-systems.net.
This IP address belongs to Gilat Satcom, from Israel, and maps to Turkey. Gilat services Africa as well, home to many of the original internet scams like this that have been common for many years. Unfortunately, foreign companies are notoriously hard to get any information out of, and once money has left the country, local law enforcement can do little.
There are thousands of cases of this a year, many instigated through Ebay and other sales oriented sites - a buyer sends fake payment asking for a refund of some kind to cover taxes, customs, or other expense. Then, once receiving the funds, they disappear. This can involve any kind of item sold over the internet - land, vehicles, and not USU student housing.
To avoid falling victim to such scams:
- NEVER accept payment for more than that agreed upon.
- NEVER wire money, especially internationally.
- ALWAYS confirm identities as best as possible BEFORE any large transaction.
- ALWAYS wait for the check to clear your bank AND the issuing bank - this may take several weeks
If you've already fallen victim to such a scam, inform your bank, the police and the U.S. Secret Service at (202) 406-5572 or write to U.S. Secret Service, Financial Crimes Division, 950 H St. N.W., Washington, DC 20223. Also, call your state attorney general's consumer protection division.
More information on the cashier check scams can be found online at Scam Victims United
Oct 05, 2006
Feb 12, 2009
I am almost certain it's the same person because of the way in which she/he types and the specific words and descriptions they used.
IE: "cos" and talking about being out of the country, and needing to send her/his employers checks to me
This person did not contact me via TrueAggie.com but rather an ad I placed on Craigslist.com for an apartment in Logan, UT.
The first time this person contacted me I answered her/his inquiries about the apartment and asked her/him several questions that they did not answer. They kept asking the same questions over and over again, and wanted to send me money to save their room.
I opted to stop contacting this person, and then was contacted by someone supposedly different, but I could tell it was the same person; I did nothing but delete their email.
I had no idea they were scam artists, and just figured they were "fishy". I saw this article just now, and decided to respond.
All of these emails between the con artists has happened within the last few days.
If you need any information from me please let me know.
My email is: Ashly_Eyler@CityU.Edu