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>>

  • Malaysia asks world to pray for missing plane clue

    Malaysia asks world to pray for missing plane clue

    Saturday, April 19 2014 5:21 AM EDT2014-04-19 09:21:49 GMT
    The search coordination center says an underwater robotic submarine is expected to finish searching a narrowed down area of the Indian Ocean seabed for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane within the next week,...
    A Malaysian official on Saturday asked the world to "pray hard" for a clue to help find Flight 370, while authorities said a robotic submarine was expected to finish searching a patch of the Indian Ocean seabed within a...
  • Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

    Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:45 AM EDT2014-04-19 06:45:14 GMT
    People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's...
    People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's...
  • Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:32 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:32:34 GMT
    An avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest on Friday along a route used to ascend the world's highest peak, killing at least six Nepalese guides and leaving nine more missing, officials said.
    Rescuers were searching through piles of snow and ice on the slopes of Mount Everest on Saturday for four Sherpa guides who were buried by an avalanche that killed 12 other Nepalese guides in the deadliest disaster on the...
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
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.