Paducah police are warning residents and financial institutions of a an apparent scam reported by a credit union.
According to police, credit union officials said a woman came in and opened an IRA account about a week ago. A short time later, a check for $85,000 was delivered by a world-wide shipping and delivery company, and was deposited into her account. The woman withdrew $9,000.
An investigation by the credit union determined the check was fraudulent. The woman was contacted and she returned to the credit union with the $9,000. Police say she was apparently caught up in a scam whereby a company or individual recruits someone to deposit a check for them, with a promise of sharing in the money. Normally, police say the scammer asks the individual to deposit the check and then wire an amount to the scammer. The individual is then left "holding the bag" when the bank determines the check is fraudulent.
According to police, while the woman was the local credit union, returning the $9,000 she had withdrawn, she received a call from an unknown man telling her to wire him $6,500 of the $85,000. He said she could keep the rest. The wire was not sent, and the credit union recovered all of its money.
Police say since that time, the credit union has received two additional checks: one for $69,450.32 and the other for $69,000. The checks had valid routing and account numbers, but the check numbers were wrong and they were not issued by the companies listed on the checks.
Both checks contained the memo line: Rollover IRA Contribution. One was from a company in California, the other from a company in New York state. Both were shipped from an address in Jacksonville, Florida, via the same shipping and delivery company.
The police department warns financial institutions to be alert, and residents to be wary of promises of free money.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Paducah Police Department at 270/444-8550 or Crime Stoppers at 443-TELL. Tipsters also may text their tips to “CRIMES” (274637) by entering “KyTips” followed by their information, or by visiting the Crime Stoppers website at westkycrimestoppers.info. Information leading to an arrest or indictment may result in a reward of up to $1,000.
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