Clallam County sheriff warns of check scam

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict is warning residents of a check scam circulating in the county.

Deputy Michael Leiter has taken reports of residents of Sequim and Port Angeles receiving bogus checks. Some have fallen victim to the scam, Benedict said.

The checks — in amounts ranging from $1,500 to $4,600 — are accompanied by letters telling recipients to deposit the check and then send a certain amount of money to cover fees for a lottery.

The letter may also say the recipient has been selected as a secret shopper and is asked to provide feedback on service at a certain business, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“If you are mailed a check, usually a cashier’s check, that you are not expecting, you should be suspicious and recognize that it is probably a fraud,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

“If you are even considering depositing or using one of these checks, which we do not recommend, you should first research the name of the bank on the check; have your bank verify the routing number, located on the bottom of the check. So far, we have found that every bank named on these checks and the routing numbers are both fictitious.”

Those who deposit bad checks into their accounts will be held responsible for money they withdraw, the Sheriff’s Office warns.

“We want people to throw these checks away, destroy them,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

“If you have any questions, please contact your local law enforcement.”

For additional information on these types of scams, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-dontbankcheck.

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