The Dare County Sheriff’s Office has recently been contacted about several possible scams that have occurred in the Outer Banks area.
Per a September 17 public service announcement from the Sheriff’s Office, in these cases, the scammers want to send individuals money through either a cashier’s check or an online payment, utilizing Outer Banks-centric marketplace sites, such as Craigslist or Facebook.
The online statement from the Sheriff’s Office is as follows:
This is happening for Craigslist-type ads and things such as remote computer repair work. However, it could be for just about anything. The scammers want you to fill out a form and provide your information to send the money to. They will even tell you not to give a P.O. Box but a physical address. This gives them all your information for future contact.
When you place an item on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or any other sites, the scammers will try to contact you. If you respond to them, they will most likely tell you they want to purchase your item at full price plus a fee for you to hold it. They will ask you to fill out a form providing all of your information such as name, physical address (not P.O. Box), phone number, and the amount you are to receive for the item so they can send the check. They will ask you to hold the item until you have received the check and cash it. If you are successful in cashing the check and let them know you have done this, they will tell you they have changed their mind and ask you to send the money back to them minus any amount of money they promised you to hold it. This is an attempt to make you feel good because you received something out of the deal.
The computer scammer will say they want to refund you money for computer work or whatever topic you may fall for and also have you fill out forms with all your information. On the form, they will ask you to put in the refund amount you discussed. The refund amount will somehow be changed from, ex $600 to $6,000. The scammer will contact you back and tell you there was a mistake on the form and you need to send the extra money back to them. Again, you may feel comfortable about this, because they are not asking for the $600 refund, but only the amount for the over payment being $5,400.
In both of these cases, they will ask you to send CASH or GIFT CARDS back to them and provide an address and to mail it discreetly.
In both of these instances, you are providing a way for the scammer to filter the money they have gotten illegally. By sending the money back you have added another layer for someone to try and track the illegal money. You could have also provided that money for them because the checks or the account you received the money from were fake.
If you catch on to the scam after providing the information on the form and do not send the money, they will then try and intimidate you into sending the money to them using that information. If you provide any information such as bank accounts or credit card numbers, immediately contact them to stop any transactions you have not approved and follow their guidelines in changing them if needed.
The public is reminded to contact the Dare County Sheriff’s Office at 252 475 5980 if any suspicious online activity is suspected. For more information, including additional contact info visit the Dare County Sheriff’s Office’s webpage at https://www.darenc.com/departments/sheriff-s-office.