MIDLAND - Crooks and counterfeiters are sending fake cash, checks and stolen stuff through the mail. Now police are sending out a warning because those ill-gotten goods have started landing in Midland mail-boxes.
It's been showing up more and more in the Tall City and if you get cash, checks, or even electronics from someone you don't know, police are saying don't fall for it. The bad guys are just trying to scam you or make you a part of the scam.
These packages are full of trouble for the unsuspecting people who get them, not only could they cost big bucks, but police say they could get you into even bigger trouble.
Here's how it works: A package comes in the mail. It could have cash, checks or electronics sent from a fake company or person. Along with the goods comes a letter with instructions on what to do with the contents.
"Its going to have directions to either send to another location, to another name," Sgt. Alfredo Grimaldo with the Special Investigations Division with the Midland Police Department, said.
If it's cash, the instructions are to get a money order and mail it to another location. If it's a check, cash it and send them the money. If it's an electronic gadget, they ask the recipient to send it overseas.
"In exchange, they are allowed to keep some of the money or the merchandise," Grimaldo said.
This is all part of scam, the checks are fraudulent, the cash is fake and the electronics are all bought with a stolen credit card number.
If the police catch you trying to help these scammers along, you'll be looking at big trouble with the law.
"Once they are located and identified, stopped and detained, even if the person had no idea it was fake, the person is still responsible," Grimaldo said.
But why is the Tall City the target of this trickery?
"This area is good natured and friendly, sometimes that makes us more susceptible to this type of crime. A lot of times we don't ask questions and we are not up to date on the new scams," Grimaldo said.
That's why police are getting the word out be careful, ask questions and don't fall for the scam. There are obvious red flags.
"If you receive anything billed to or shipped to you with a different address, that should be a red flag," Grimaldo said.
What's making it hard for police to catch these scammers is that most of them are overseas and it's hard to track them down.