Internet scams are sweeping the nation, conning many out of thousands of dollars. Here in Grand Junction authorities are being swarmed with calls from such victims.
These scams are getting more and more elaborate as technology continues to grow. A Grand Junction couple trying to sell their truck for $2,200 ended up loosing more than $4,000 to a con man they say seemed legit.
Con artists are taking advantage of the web to scam hard working people out of their money. According to the FBI they have become much more sophisticated. Dawn Gray and her husband were trying to sell their 1968 Ford pickup, so they placed an ad on the KKCO Classifieds web page. Almost immediately, they were contacted by a man who said he would buy the truck and send extra money for shipping. According to Gray, the potential buyer sent a check for $4,800, and everything seemed fine. But then all the sudden he wanted Gray to Western Union $2,500 to the United Kingdom so his shipping company could come to the United States and pick up the vehicle in Grand Junction.
Gray wired the money, but later he called to say it hadn't worked and he needed her to do it again. That's when she got worried. After making arrangements with the shipping company to pick up the truck, Dawn found herself waiting. They never showed up.
Then the bad news, the check Dawn deposited turned out to be fake. And she's out $4,400. FBI Special Agent Jane Quimby says unfortunately scams like this are popping up all over town and aren't unique to KKCO's Classified Page. On average, the local FBI office receives 3-5 calls a week concerning Internet scams. Typically because of the number of complaints that they receive, unless a person has lost $30,000 it's not prosecuted. And if it is not prosecuted, the FBI simply can't take the time to investigate it.
As for Dawn and her husband, they are hoping their story will help others before they fall victim to a similar scam.
The FBI encourages victims of Internet Crimes to file a complaint at www.ic3.gov. Below is a list of helpful numbers when it comes to scams.
FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center
Federal Trade Commission
Fraud Hotline: (877) 382-4357
Colorado Better Business Bureau
Information Hotline: (303) 758-2100
AARP Elder Watch
Social Security Fraud Hotline