ECU police warn of check/ITunes gift card scam

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Police at ECU are investigating after a student reported a scam involving fraudulent checks to purchase iTunes gift cards.

It reportedly happened on February 8th between 7:30 and 8 p.m. on College Hill when an unknown female approached the student and gave them a check, found later to be fraudulent, and asked them to deposit it, wire transfer some money to another country, and also purchase iTunes gift cards with the money and give those to them.

ECU police Lt. Chris Sutton said scammers know who to target and if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

“They’re pretty sharp in their approach,” said Sutton. “They have a good sales pitch that they like to give. And it’s just important for the consumer, the citizen, to be aware so that they don’t become victim to that.”

Officers said it’s believed the whole thing took place through a few different meetings and there’s little description about the suspect. They added the incident is a different type of situation that what’s been seen in the past; it took place on campus and face to face. It also sounds like a known scam which has been received recently by other students through email. It’s an older scam with the purchase of iTunes gift cards being a new component.

Police said two other students were scammed recently by e-mail communication similar to the situation above.

ECU Police advise that, if you receive any similar type emails or have conversations with anyone on campus concerning work from home type jobs or the receipt of checks in the mail to be deposited into your personal bank accounts, you should be aware it’s a possible scam. They said you should always know who you are communicating with and the origin of any checks you receive before depositing them. They added that it’s your responsibility to know that any checks are real before depositing them. You could be financially responsible for any money drawn against a deposit of a fraudulent check.

File a complaint with the FBI at www.ic3.gov if you have received anything like this by email and have deposited the checks and later found out the checks were fraudulent.  It’s recommended that you do not deposit any such check received in a similar manner.

You should contact your local Police Department if you think you’ve been a victim of this scam.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the ECU Police at 252-328-6787. Information can be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 252-758-7777.

 

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