Ahead of the August 21, 2017 Great American Eclipse, locals may get scammed out of money before the moon passes the sun!
The NCSO has become aware of persons posing as interested spectators to the upcoming solar eclipse in August. They are searching online postings for persons offering a place to stay and view the event. The scammers then contact the hosting person and make reservations to reserve a spot. Money is offered in advance of the event. Soon a check or money order arrives from the person, or a person representing the person. The amount on the check or money order is over the amount that was agreed upon between the two parties.
The interested party will then contact the hosting party. They will report that some type of error has been made; that they over paid for the services. They tell the host to deposit the check and request that the host send the over amount back to them immediately.
The hosting party cashes or deposits the check / money order and then returns the over amount to the guest. As the financial system processes the documents, all appears okay, the routing and account numbers are correct. Within a few days or weeks, the bank is contacting you. The check or money order that was cashed or deposited was illegally issued. The hosting party, (you) now must pay the entire amount back to the bank or face criminal charges.
You have just been scammed out of your money.
Ways to possibly avoid money scams. Work within a reputable booking reservation service that can safeguard both parties from fraud. If you accept any check or money orders from any private person or business, allow the funds to settle and reconcile with the issuers account, before using the funds. This can take up to three or more months.
If you suspect or have information about any money scams. Contact your local law enforcement immediately. Do not cash or use the funds. Save all names, address and phone numbers about the contact, law enforcement will need this and any other information that you can provide.