A Katonah woman was scammed out of $2,000 after an individual wrote her a check for $3,800 to rent her Southhold, Long Island property—a full $2,600 more than the asking price to rent the apartment, Bedford police said.
When the scammer asked the resident, 60, to wire the "extra" money back to them because they had "overpaid," the resident went to the CVS in Bedford Hills and used a MoneyGram to send a first installment of $2,000. When the victim returned the next day to send an additional $600 to the scammer's Ukraine address, a representative from MoneyGram advised her not to send the money and call the police instead.
"I commend the employee for realizing it was a scam," said Bedford Police Lt. Jeffrey Dickan. "Anytime someone sends you more than what you asked for, it should raise red flags."
In this case, the $3,800 check was a fraudulent check, said Dickan. Other variations on the money-wiring scheme can include suspects asking victims to wire extra money for shipping an item, or asking for help in cashing a check, he added. Victims may cash a check in their bank and give the cash to the suspect; then the check typically bounces, but the victim has endorsed it and is responsible.
The matter is being investigated.
Editor's note: Patch heard from the victim in this story who clarified that it was not a CVS employee but a MoneyGram employee who alerted her to the potential scam. We have corrected the copy.