Police Commissioner Warns of International Scam - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Pulaski County, IL

Police Commissioner Warns of International Scam

Police Commissioner Warns of International Scam
By: Ryan Tate

PULASKI COUNTY, Ill. - Pulaski City Police Commissioner Carl Wheeler thought it was his lucky day when he got a check in the mail worth close to $3,000. But it was too good to be true.

"I play numbers (like the lottery) a few times, and I thought I had won," Wheeler said.  Instead, it was another foreign scam effecting people in the Heartland.  Wheeler took the check to the bank, but the bank rejected it because of "lack of funds" on the other side.

Wheeler then went to Pulaski County State's Attorney Grayson Gile and two Illinois State Troopers.  They helped point out the inaccuracies in most scam letters, including misspelled words and run-on sentences.  They showed how the checks lack watermarks and that most of the area codes for people to claim their prizes are for phones in other countries.

But law enforcement has a hard time tracking or even bringing scammers to justice because of jurisdiction limitations.

Wheeler did not lose any money, except for $5 his bank charged him for processing the check.  If Wheeler had followed instructions from the scammers, after cashing the check, he was supposed to send a money order to them, worth a few thousand dollars.  That is how he would lose his money, because when the bank didn't find funds to back up the check, Wheeler would have lost his money order.

"I'm going to tell people to investigate things if they get a check in the mail," Wheeler said. "Don't get fooled like I almost did."

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