Just based on how they look, it TMs hard to tell that two checks sent to Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez, are fraudulent.
Even more so, he said, because the alleged senders are both legitimate companies - one a university in Washington D.C. and the other an instruments company out of North Carolina.
To top it off, Rodriguez said, they arrived via priority mail.
"If they can actually target me at my work place, at the police department, they'll stop nowhere, Rodriguez said. "People will produce checks through sophisticated printers. It's almost like counterfeit money; unless you know what you're looking for, it may get past you."
Chief Rodriguez said when first saw the checks, his first thought was that they were refunds from the department TMs vendors.
However, upon further research - the two checks totaling about $6,000 - simply turned out to be fakes.
It's unlikely the scammers purposely targeted a police chief, but now that the scam fell right in his hands, Rodriguez is warning those more likely to be targets.
"It's usually going to be the elderly that are targeted because they're very trusting still, they don TMt realize how these things work.
Rodriguez said the scammers are sending the checks with instructions to send a partial payment back to the sender and keep the rest of the money.
He's urging that before people take that step, they investigate with the sender and their bank, no matter how legitimate the checks may look.
Once the money is gone from a victim TMs account, he said, it's very hard to get it back, even if the scammers are caught.
"These checks are circulating in the Brownsville area, probably throughout the Valley, Rodriguez said. Don TMt fall victim to this con."