St. Charles police warn of scams

Published: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 7:29 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – City police reminded residents to be on the lookout for scams after one resident received a letter promising $150,000 and another lost hundreds in a loan scam.

“Remember the saying, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,’ ” St. Charles police said in a news release.

Fortunately, police said, the resident who received a letter declaring him as a winner of the United Kingdom and North American Shoppers Sweepstakes knew it was a scam.

The letter reportedly included a $3,750 check, which was supposedly taken out of his $150,000 winnings. It was mailed to him to help pay for taxes and processing fees before he would get the remainder of his winnings, police reported.

He was instructed to cash the check and, police said, return the money in two installments through Western Union and Money Gram.

Police warn residents about applying for loans on the Internet after a woman lost more than $700 to a fraudulent site.

According to police, she applied for a loan on the website USA Cash and soon received calls from other payday loan companies. One company – identified as Rapid Cash in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – reportedly told the victim it could approve her loan with less difficulty and much quicker.

She was reportedly told to purchase a NetSpendReload Pack – a prepaid debit card – and load it with $400 before sending it to Fort Lauderdale.

She followed the instructions and was told to send more money for processing fees and an additional charge because her bank was a commercial bank, police said. Her total loss was $753.

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