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Nixon warns about bogus check scam

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:03 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Missourians should be on the lookout for unexpected checks coming in the mail.

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon sent out an alert Monday afternoon warning consumers to beware of what appear to be official state of Missouri checks.

A con artist who said he was an international businessman has been sending checks that appear to have been issued by the state to people around the country, said Travis Ford, a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office.

Most of the checks purport to be from the Missouri Division of Medical Services and arrive via UPS from Canada.

Each recipient is told that the businessman has been unable to cash the checks overseas and is instructed to cash the check on his behalf and then send him a portion of the check via a wire transfer. The recipients then send the money from their own bank account, only to find that the check is fraudulent, Ford said.

The state treasurer’s office became aware of the scam when its computer system registered and rejected $144,000 worth of the counterfeit checks, Ford said.

Missourians should be leery of proposals by strangers to cash a check and wire part of the money back to them, Nixon said.


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