Mitchell Co. man wasn't conned by check scam - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Mitchell Co. man wasn't conned by check scam

June 25, 2007


Mitchell County -- Identity theft crime is rampant in the United States and Georgia ranks 7th in the nation in the number of ID theft cases. 

A Mitchell County man recently got a check for thousands of dollars in the mail, but found out it was part of an international scam that could have allowed the crooks to clean out his bank account.

Donald Dobbs got a check for $3,685 in the mail Thursday, saying he had won a Caribbean cruise and big money. "It says that I have won $36,000 as some kind of lottery drawing," Dobbs said.

Dobbs immediately smelled a rat, and called the phone number in the letter to a Canadian company, Sunlife Investments, who urged him to cash the check. "They wanted me to deposit this check in my bank account to supposedly pay the IRS up front, so there would not be any taxes."

The check was made out to Beneficial Savings Bank in Philadelphia, and when Dobbs called them they warned him immediately that it was a counterfeit check, and that hundreds of other victims had fallen for this scam. "This sometime is routing out of Nigeria. It's just a scam on the old people."

If Dobbs had cashed the check, in about a month his bank would tell him the check was a phony, and demand their money back.  "Once they get in your bank account, that gives them access, and they clean out your bank account," Dobbs said.

Dobbs says is worried other South Georgians got these checks, and wants to warn them not to fall for this con. "If we can stop one person from losing their money, that's what I was out for."

Dobbs says this was a classic case of easy money, that is just too good to be true.

The Federal Trade Commission investigated 8,084 identity theft complaints in Georgia in 2006. That's more than 86 victims in every 100,000 Georgians last year alone.

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