New scam offers $4,000 cheque

RCMP are warning East Kootenay residents to beware of a new scam that could arrive in the mail.

RCMP are warning East Kootenay residents to beware of a new scam that could arrive in the mail.

A Fernie resident reported to police last week that she received an unsolicited letter from a company in Ontario that contained a $4,000 cheque, a note saying she had been selected for a position with their company based on the resume submitted.

Along with the cheque, the letter contained instructions to perform two money transfers to specified recipients, and the remaining funds would be kept by the letter recipient as payment for completing the task.

“This scam works when the resident cashes the cheque and transfers the funds, then once the cheque is discovered to be fraudulent, the resident is responsible for repayment to the bank for the full amount,” said Cst. Adam Clark at Elk Valley RCMP. “This is a relatively new scam but has been reported all over Canada.”

In the Fernie case, the woman who received the letter was suspicious, so she alerted her bank and the RCMP without cashing the cheque.

“The Elk Valley RCMP is reminding residents that if an offer seems too good to be true, there is a good chance the offer may not be legitimate. Be mindful of unsolicited mail and phone calls and contact your local police if you suspect a fraud,” said Cst. Clark.

The RCMP is asking anyone who receives similar unsolicited offers to contact Phonebusters at 1-888-495-8501 or www.phonebusters.com.