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Police warn of online scams

Evanston police are cautioning residents to be aware scams in which fraudsters lure their victims by e-mail.

Police Cmdr. Tom Guenther says in one such scenario the victim is invited to be a "mystery shopper" or perform some similar task.

Evanston police are cautioning residents to be aware scams in which fraudsters lure their victims by e-mail.

Police Cmdr. Tom Guenther says in one such scenario the victim is invited to be a "mystery shopper" or perform some similar task.

The scam artist sends the recruited victim a check, with instructions to cash it, take a commission, and forward the remaining cash by Western Union to another person, often in a foreign country.

After the victim sends off the money, the scam artist’s check bounces, and the victim is held liable for the loss by the bank that cashed it.

Guenther says, the bottom line is, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Never give any personal information to parties you are not completely familiar with and unless you’ve verified the legitimacy of their organization.

Internet and mail scams are often convoluted, involving multiple jurisdictions, and are hard to investigate and prosecute, he added.

So, guard your personal information, shred all personal documents before placing them in the garbage, never relinquish personal information to unsolicited callers, and verify all companies and charities before your do business with them.

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