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Search for jobs leads to scam

By Scott Mims

When Gary Morris of Thorsby returned from a family outing March 15, he found a FedEx package on his doorstep containing what appeared to be a $1,395 check from Stanford University.
The check looked authentic — it bore the college’s address, phone number, security features and Stanford’s official seal. Even the account number was legitimate. Upon contacting the college, Morris found that the number turned up a student account.
But the check was a fake.
“They said it was the best looking check they had ever seen,” Morris said.
Morris had sent out his resume using a job search engine on the Internet.
He later replied to an e-mail, inquiring about jobs in the Birmingham area.
After getting a possible lead, Morris received another e-mail March 16 — the day after receiving the check — requesting that he keep 10 percent of the check amount and forward the rest of the money to a London, England address.
The e-mail appeared to be from a company called London Graphics UK.
“The research I’ve done shows that’s a legitimate company in London, so they’re just using their name,” he said.
Other company names turned up in the FedEx package — Eli Lilly and Company and Software Solutions. Both are real companies as well.
“It’s just wild,” Morris said.
He tracked the package and found that it was mailed from a FedEx office in Florida.
He called FedEx and they agreed to investigate.
Morris is concerned that someone might fall for the scam.
“Somebody’s going to fall for it, and it’s probably going to be somebody that’s either desperate or elderly that just trusts them,” he said.
Investigator Matt Griffin of the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department said he sees check scams on a regular basis.
He said scammers monitor Internet traffic to find many of their victims.
Griffin said the federal government has the best resources for investigating the scams.
“The FBI has a huge database of people who do nothing but monitor that kind of stuff,” he said.
To report a scam, visit the FBI’s site, ic3.gov.