Post office warns of fraudulent scams surfacing

Published 3:11 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Clanton Post Office is trying to warn residents of a scam circulating that involves fraudulent money orders.

Post office clerk Rena Crumpton said several people have brought in money orders for large and unusual sums of money such as, $995 or $998.

Crumpton said the money orders are usually delivered to a residential address showing they were delivered from the post office, FedEx or UPS.

Included in the money order is a letter telling the recipients of the fraud that if they will cash the money order, they will have to pay part of the amount by sending it to the return address in order to keep the money.

“It is becoming a common thing for these people to act like they are from a reputable company and try to get money from people who just don’t know any better,” Crumpton said. “We can tell from everyone that has brought one in that they are fake and we will send them the postal investigators so they can find out who is doing this.”

Crumpton said most everyone that has brought the money orders into the post office are skeptical of the authenticity.

“Unfortunately, because the money orders appear as if they are from FedEx, UPS or the post office then people believe they are real,” Crumpton said. “Anything you have to pay to receive the money is usually not something legitimate.”

Crumpton said employees at local post offices as well as FedEx and UPS stores are equipped to decipher if the money orders are a scam.

Money orders are often sent as a secure way to send money through the mail. The money orders may be cashed or deposited like a check.

“If someone has questions about something they receive, bring it in and show it to us before sending any sort of money off,” Crumpton said. “We will be able to figure out if it is real and if it isn’t, we will send it off to the postal investigators who can figure out where it was sent from.”