News Story
Posted by Transylvania County on April 16, 2019

If you have a smart phone, perhaps you are like us; you’re getting an array of phone calls from all over the United States and North America from Telemarketing con artists.  They are creative, coming up with new tricks every day to scam unsuspecting Transylvania residents.  The callers prey on anyone who answers a phone, but especially seniors and others who have responded to phony sweepstakes or other scams before.


We will continue to spend the next few weeks on examples of scams we know have been successful for fraudulent telemarketers give you an idea of the tricks they play.



You receive a letter, telephone call, or email from someone who claims that they have received a check for several thousand dollars that they cannot cash in their own country. In this variation of the overseas money transfer scam and the sweepstakes scam, the scammer asks for your help cashing the check. The scammer endorses the check and sends it to you, asking you to deposit it and keep 20 percent while sending them the other 80 percent. The check appears to be from a U.S. car dealership, computer company or some other legitimate business, and it bears a valid account number for that business. Days after your money is wired overseas, your bank reports that the check is counterfeit and will not be honored.



Via fax, email, or regular mail, you receive an impassioned plea from someone who claims to live in Nigeria or another developing country. They may present themselves as a former high government official, or perhaps a relative of a former dictator. They claim to need to transfer several million dollars into the U.S. and offer to pay you a 25 percent commission to use your account to make the transfer. The person requests absolute secrecy, and suggests the funds may not have been obtained legitimately. They may also ask for several thousand dollars, supposedly to bribe a foreign government official who is blocking transfer of the millions into your account. In recent variations of this old scam, the fax, email or letter will claim that the smuggled money is intended for orphans or a religious ministry. These are ploys to acquire your bank account number and then drain the account of funds. 


The North Carolina Department of Justice can help; call toll free at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM


Source: NC Department of Justice