Monday, April 24, 2006

Shame on Me-Reader input requested

Some of you may have read my last post about a fraudulent check scam that bit me. That part is shame on them. Now it is shame on me for falling for it again.

Over the past few months, I have done my best to be a good neighbor to the people next door and their child. I purchased food from what I thought was a legitimate fundraiser, to support the son. When the check was cashed, it was very surprising to see that someone had fraudulently altered the check to get additional funds from my bank account. I let that go, figuring that it had to be someone at the school who was altering these checks in a criminal way. I reported this loss to the bank, which may choose to pursue the person who defrauded my account.

A week and a half ago, they sent their son over with a note, asking desperately for money to pay the Pepco bill. Against my better judgment, I did so. Within a few moments, I wrote a check to Pepco so they would have electricity before the final disconnection notice. they subsequently altered this check fraudulently as well and cashed it. I have no way of expressing how disappointed and upset I am.

The question now is what to do. I have come up with two choices, are there more? What would you do?

Ask them to provide me with a complete repayment of both fraudulent checks, in cash ($117 + $140 = $257) in a specific period of time.

or take the copies of both checks to the Metropolitan Police Department for them to investigate the fraud committed against me.

I would imagine that either of these could result in repeccusions, or actions against me by them or their croneys. But something needs to be done. I also plan to ask them to keep their son (who is a good kid, but has sh*tty parents). I find it particularly upsetting that they have used him as an accomplice in efforts to defraud me. What should I do?


The Libertarian Republican said...

The answer is easy, but I don't have to live next to your neighbors. You definitely should file a formal complaint with the police and ask them to seek restitution on your behalf. That is your bare minimum obligation as a citizen.

If you are adventurous, after you have filed your formal complaint, you should contact your neighbors and inquire as to whether they have had suspicious transactions. Then you should present this information to the police as well, hopefully with neighbors filling out affidavits. There should be zero tolerance for this activity.

Anonymous said...

I would let the bank handle the "confrontation" part of it. I would avoid a personal confrontation with your neighbor. If they ask for assistance tell them that your bank had questions about your account and that YOU are now having financial problems and may need a check from them.

Mari said...

I agree with the Libertarian Republican's last statement regarding approaching the neighbors. But approach the subject in a way that allows the possible perps to save face and maybe "correct" the wrong on their own. Forcing them to get defensive will get you no where.

jaime said...

This stinks! We've been approached before, too - though so far only for the fundraising bit, and asking to whom the check should be made usually gets a "never mind" response.

I agree with everyone that you should move foreward contacting the police (I saw you posted to MPD-5D as well). My immediate reaction would be to go one step further and contact DCFS about the child being used as a pawn in this scheme...Again, that's really just my visceral response, and the possible legal implications stemming from check fraud may cause a fissure in the family.

We've also been navigating "getting the kids on our side," and I really liked Mari's comments on her own blog about what odd jobs you can have the boy do and what he can be paid for a legitimate job well done. At this point you know that what happened wasn't his fault, and there's still room to give him a safe space with some rewards he's obviously not receiving at home.

Penrick said...

I would call the bank and police. There is no telling if this has happened in other places they lived. Protect the rest of your neighbors, especially the elderly.


Anonymous said...

Your bank should be held accountable for processing an altered check - twice!

You are being prayed upon in part because they know you have a compassionate (or is it generalized white guilt?) streak in you.

You'll get more respect if you put a proverbial stake in the ground. It is perfectly acceptable to demonstrate some anger and distaste over these events.

Anonymous said...

People tend to take advantage of who they THINK they can. So, they obviously think they can take advantage of you. If you disregard it and take no action, then they'll just tattoo "sucker" across your forehead and scheme for the next way they can get some more funds out of you. I agree with some other folks - I would have heads roll at the bank.

PalacePool said...

On the advice of a very smart woman on our block, she suggested asking for the money in return in less than five days. If they dont repay, then contact the authorities. I am documenting everything, including a letter that I intend on giving to them tonight.

I just hope that the threat of police action doesnt come back to haunt me.

It was a poor decision to lend money, the adage is "neither a borrower nor a lender be" right?

Needless to say, i have learned my lesson. My philanthropic endeavors will have to come in the form of other activities in the future.

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