Check scheme targets Mary Kay reps - WFLA News Channel 8

Check scheme targets Mary Kay reps

Posted: Updated:
ST PETERSBURG, FL -

Salespeople for products from Mary Kay and Avon appear to be the new targets for an old scheme law enforcement has seen before involving big checks and online orders.

In the scheme, which can target anyone selling something online, someone selling an item gets a big check from a buyer who says they accidentally overpaid, and asks the seller to deposit the check and send back the extra.

If the check doesn't clear, the seller can be out thousands of dollars.

"I opened it up, my husband was standing there, I said, ‘Oh this is definitely a scam,'" said Denise Maguire, who received two checks for more than $2,400 each.

Maguire says she was contacted first via text, then later email, by someone who said she wanted to buy a box of Mary Kay products for about $200. Maguire doesn't usually sell Mary Kay products anymore, but agreed to take the order.

About two weeks later, she says she got an email from the woman saying her boss would send the check because she was disabled. Then came an email saying her boss accidentally sent too much money – her entire paycheck – and she needed Maguire to deposit it and then send her the rest of the money, eventually asking for that money in the form of gift cards.

Both checks appeared to come from the account of a California company – another surprise since the buyer told Maguire she was from the east coast of Florida.

Contacted about the checks, the CEO of that California moving company, said the checks – which had different designs - did not look like they belonged to the company. Someone probably just got the info for them and printed them off, he said.

In this scheme, the bank and routing numbers of companies unrelated to the scheme are sometimes stolen and used on the checks, said Sgt. Kevin Smith of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

While there are reports of Mary Kay, Avon and other salespeople being contacted around the country, anyone who sells something online can be targeted.

Smith says a seller who receives a check under these circumstances should try to independently verify the information on that check, finding contact information for that company on their own instead of using whatever number of contact info may be listed on the check.  

If the check is deposited and it doesn't clear, the seller could lose money if they immediately send a check (or debit cards) to the buyer who overpaid.

"When it doesn't look right, doesn't feel right, you're probably being asked to take part in a scam you're not aware of," Smith said.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Dog beach at center of Pinellas condo conflict

    Dog beach at center of Pinellas condo conflict

    Sunday, April 20 2014 2:30 PM EDT2014-04-20 18:30:38 GMT
    The popular canine park is located on Sunset Beach in Treasure Island. The popular canine park is located on Sunset Beach in Treasure Island.
    Dog owners and residents of a Pinellas County condominium complex are in a dispute over a popular dog park.The park, on Sunset Beach off Treasure Island, has been frequented by dog owners for years because it is one of the few places in Pinellas County where dogs and their owners can legally access the water.
    Dog owners and residents of a Pinellas County condominium complex are in a dispute over a popular dog park.The park, on Sunset Beach off Treasure Island, has been frequented by dog owners for years because it is one of the few places in Pinellas County where dogs and their owners can legally access the water.
  • Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

    Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

    Sunday, April 20 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-04-20 18:22:44 GMT
    Former midddleweight boxer Rubin Carter has died. (Source: Flickr) Former midddleweight boxer Rubin Carter has died. (Source: Flickr)
    Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died at 76.
    By GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, died Sunday. He was 76.
  • Good Samaritan renders aid to man in Tarpon Springs crash

    Good Samaritan renders aid to man in Tarpon Springs crash

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:16 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:16:38 GMT
    The crash occurred on Keystone Rd. in Tarpon Springs on Saturday night. The crash occurred on Keystone Rd. in Tarpon Springs on Saturday night.
    A Good Samaritan helped save the life of a 52-year-old Holiday man Saturday night after he lost control of his vehicle and landed in a pond in Tarpon Springs.Richard Fenton was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa where he is listed in serious condition.
    A Good Samaritan helped save the life of a 52-year-old Holiday man Saturday night after he lost control of his vehicle and landed in a pond in Tarpon Springs.Richard Fenton was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa where he is listed in serious condition.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • VIRAL VIDEO: Selfie Captures Man Getting Kicked By Train Engineer

    VIRAL VIDEO: Selfie Captures Man Getting Kicked By Train Engineer

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 2:46 PM EDT2014-04-16 18:46:32 GMT
    A video posted to YouTube showing a man getting kicked in the head by a person on a passing train has gone viral.
    A video posted to YouTube showing a man getting kicked in the head by a person on a passing train has gone viral.
  • Arcadia dog set on fire improving, could be released early

    Arcadia dog set on fire improving, could be released early

    Tuesday, April 1 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-04-02 03:26:55 GMT
    "Hope" was doused with kerosene and set on fire. BluePearl Veterinary photo"Hope" was doused with kerosene and set on fire. BluePearl Veterinary photo
    A 1-year-old DeSoto County dog that was set on fire is improving and could be released from 24-hour care to a primary care veterinarian next week.
    A 1-year-old DeSoto County dog that was set on fire is improving and could be released from 24-hour care to a primary care veterinarian next week.
  • Trending: World's most haunted island up for auction

    Trending: World's most haunted island up for auction

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:17:05 GMT
    Poveglia. Image Wikimedia CommonsPoveglia. Image Wikimedia Commons
     A small "haunted" island off the coast of Italy near Venice will hit the auction block in May.
    A small "haunted" island off the coast of Italy near Venice will hit the auction block in May.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.