Mark Stine KOLD News 13 Reporter
Criminals are trying to slip thousands of counterfeit postal money orders into circulation.
"They haven't ever been able to successfully counterfeit a postal money order," U.S. Postal Inspector Jim Harper told KOLD.
But criminals are getting pretty darn close. At first glance, it's hard to tell which is the real money order and which is fake.
"There are built in security features on a money order which no counterfeiter has been able to counterfeit," Harper said.
When you hold a real USPS money order up to light, you'll see an image of Benjamin Franklin. Right next to Franklin, you'll see a security thread that runs through the money order that reads USPS. The edges should be clean cut.
"What's really shocking is how many people will actually try to negotiate these documents," Harper said.
The criminals commonly strike through e-mail on the internet and explain their problems from another country.
"You can see here, he's asking for the money immediately so he can pay his wife's medical bills 'cause she's ill, so they are playing on this person's emotions," Harper said.
The only thing these people ask for is for you to cash a check. Not a personal one, but a certified U.S. Postal Money Order.
"They ask them, 'Listen, we don't have a bank account in the US, could you cash them and send it back to us?'" Harper explained.
For your time, they even offer you a few hundred bucks. The only problem is, the money order they sent you is fake.
"I had an individual in here not to long ago where he put $20,000 into his account in counterfeit money orders. Initially they did clear, several days later the bank came back and took it out of his account," Harper told KOLD.
Harper says some people are just plain duped, others are motivated by greed. "They're thinking, boy I can make $1500 just by putting these money orders through my account."
Even if you're looking for a quick buck, be prepared. Jim Harper says you will be held accountable. "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. No one's going to give you something for nothing."
If you believe you have a fake U.S. Postal Money order, you can call 520-388-5165 or click this link www.usps.com.
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