St. Norbert College wants to alert citizens of fradulent scam

From St. Norbert College, May 24, 2010
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, (920) 403-3089

St. Norbert College has been notified by several individuals from across the U.S. about counterfeit checks received bearing St. Norbert College's name, address and routing number. The checks have been issued for various amounts and signed by fictitious college representatives. These checks are not issued by St. Norbert College.

James Skorczewski, director of campus safety at St. Norbert College, says the fraudulent checks have many similarities to one another. "Almost all of the checks involve items for sale on Craigslist. The scammers contact the seller stating they are interested in the item and will send a check via Fed Ex. The seller receives the package from Fed Ex and finds a check that appears to be from St. Norbert College made out for an amount greater than the selling price of the item." A day or two later, the seller receives another e-mail from the scammers saying there was a mistake on the check. They ask the seller to cash the check and wire the overage back to them. "Of course they tell the seller to keep a couple hundred dollars for their inconvenience," Skorczewski says.

Although the checks look legitimate, they are fake. If a seller falls for the scam, cashes the check and wires the money, they will be out that amount when the check is rejected for being fraudulent.

St. Norbert College is working with the De Pere Police Department and Fed Ex security to put an end to this scam.

Here are some common sense tips from Craigslist.com that will help you side-step would-be scammers:

- Deal locally with folks you can meet in person. (If you follow this one simple rule you will avoid 99 percent of the scam attempts on Craigslist.)
- Never wire funds via Western Union, Moneygram or any other wire service. (Anyone who asks you to do this is a scammer.)
- Fake cashier checks and money orders are common. (Banks will cash them and then hold you responsible when the fake is discovered weeks later.)
- Craigslist is not involved in any transaction.
- Never give out your financial information.
- Avoid deals involving shipping or escrow services. (Know only a scammer will "guarantee" your transaction.)

St. Norbert College has been proactive in taking security measures and has procedures in place to identify and return any potential fraudulent checks. The college has not suffered any losses due to these scams.

If you have any questions about this fraud scam contact Skorczewski at (920) 403-1346 or by e-mail at james.skorczewski@snc.edu.