Paducah police warning of fraudulent check scam

Paducah police are warning people and financial institutions of an apparent scam reported by a local credit union.

Officials from the credit union said a woman came in and opened an IRA account about a week ago. A short time later, a check for $85,000 was delivered by a world-wide shipping and delivery company, and was deposited into her account. The woman withdrew $9,000.

An investigation by the credit union determined the check was fraudulent. The woman was contacted and returned to the credit union with the money she withdrew. She was apparently caught up in a scam whereby a company or individual recruits someone to deposit a check for them, with the promise of sharing the money them. Normally the scammer asks the individual to deposit it and then wire some money to the scammer. The individual is then left “holding the bag” when the bank determines the check isn’t legitimate.

While the woman was at the local credit union to return the money she had withdrawn, she received a call from an unknown man, telling her to wire him $6,500 of the $85,000. He also said she could keep the rest. The wire was not sent, and the credit union recovered all of its money.

Since that time, the credit union has received two additional checks: one for $69,450.32 and the other for $69,000. The checks had valid routing and account numbers, but the check numbers were wrong and they were not issued by the companies listed on the checks. Both checks contained the memo line “Rollover IRA Contribution.” One was from a company in California, the other from a company in New York state. Both were shipped from an address in Jacksonville, Florida, via the same shipping and delivery company.

The police department warns financial institutions to be alert, and for people to be wary of promises for free money.

Anyone with information about these scams is asked to call the Paducah Police Department at (270) 444 – 8550.

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