Shelton cops warn of counterfeit check scams

Shelton police are warning residents that counterfeit checks are being used in a growing number of fraudulent schemes, including check overpayment scams and Internet auction scams.

On its Facebook page, police stated that the department has "taken reports of check overpayment scams target consumers selling items through classified ads or online auction sites."

Police said a scam artist replies to a classified ad or auction posting, offers to pay for the item with a check, and then comes up with a reason for writing the check for more than the purchase price.

"In one case the scam artist contacted the seller and sent his 'cousin' to the house to pick up the balance in cash," stated police. "In other cases the scammer asks the seller to wire back the difference after depositing the check. In both cases the check will later bounce when it is determined to be fraudulent."

Police are telling residents that "if you’re selling something, don’t accept a check for more than the selling price. When you receive the check call the bank and ask if it is valid. Get the bank’s phone number online and not from the check or from the person who gave you the check. If the buyer insists that you wire back funds, end the transaction immediately."