District Attorney Nola Foulston is warning citizens about several scams targeting consumers in Sedgwick County.
Gift Card Scam
The Office of the District Attorney has received numerous complaints from consumers reporting they received a telephone call or text message from an unknown person advising the consumer that they won a WalMart gift card ranging from $50 to $100. The caller may go as far as putting a “supervisor” on the phone to try to convince the consumer the winning is legitimate. The caller asks for debit/credit card information so they can process the $2.00-$2.99 fee for sending the card to the consumer.
This is a scam to get your debit card number from you. Disregard the call or text message or hang up immediately. Remember, never give out personal information over the phone or in response to a call or text message unless you initiated the call.
Housekeeping/Cleaning positions on Craigslist
Consumers have reported answering job ads on Craigslist for housekeeping/cleaning positions. When the consumer answers the ad, they are sent a check and asked to cash the check. They are instructed to keep a specific portion of the check and Western Union or Money Gram the remainder to a third party. The check is fraudulent.
If you cash this check, within a few days your bank will contact you and demand full refund of the amount of the check cashed. Never cash a check and agree to wire or money gram a portion of the check to a third party.
There are a number of different scenarios where this type of scam is employed and, in every instance, it is a scam and you will be required to pay the bank for your involvement in passing a fraudulent check – even though you did not know it was fraudulent. If you receive such a check, destroy the check immediately.
Rental Scams on Craigslist
Consumers and realtors have reported rental listings posted on Craigslist which secure a deposit up front but the property is not a legitimate rental. The posting is simply a way to either get you to send a deposit or to provide your personal information to the scamster who posted the fake listing.
The posting generally involves a property that is actually for sale. However, in some ads, the postings show property for addresses that either do not exist or that may exist at a particular address but the property is not for sale or rent. The scamster posts a picture of the property along with a description of the property, e.g. the number of bedrooms/ baths, etc.
The posting is generally accompanied by a fictional story that has similarities to the following information: The rental belongs to a person/couple out of the country on some emergency. Originally the house was for sale but the person/couple changed their mind and now only want to rent the property. The rental price is far below the comparable market rate.
The consumer is instructed to fill in what appears to be personal information qualifying the person to rent the home. The consumer is told to send the rental deposit out of country (thus, the reason for the explanation that the posting is by someone who was called out of the country on an emergency). In cases that involve a posting where the property is indeed for sale, the consumer is encouraged to drive by the home but advised that any sign in the yard belongs to the “former realtor company.” The scam posting then warns the consumer NOT to contact the realtor company as it no longer has keys to the property.
This type of scam is designed to make the consumer part with money and/or personal information. Be wary as these types of postings are almost always scams.
For additional information on protecting yourself from these crimes, contact the Consumer Fraud and Economic Crimes Division of the District Attorney’s Office at (316) 660-3653 or visit the District Attorney’s website at http://sedgwickcounty.org/da for helpful links.