A woman reported to Oxford police a man she had met on Instagram a year ago sent her a check for $1,990 asking her to cash it and send the money to his sister, according to a police report.
She told the officer April 10 she had originally refused to send the money to him, but when he said it was for his sister, she relented. She had never met him or spoken with him on the phone.
She was given a name and address in Brownville, Tenn. The check was written on an account for a pizza restaurant in Valencia, Calif. The officer contacted the business and was told they had not been aware of any such fraudulent activity.
The victim went to the Bath State Bank to deposit the check but the bank put a hold on it since it was from out of state. She went to Walgreens and Kroger the next day and wired $1,000 at each location to the address she had been given.
The bank notified her the next day the check had been declined as “altered/fictitious.” She told the officer the wire transactions did not go through for that reason.
She said she began getting text messages from someone in broken, misspelled English claiming to be “Caleb Mavins from the fraud department” insisting she return to the stores and try again to wire the money or he would send the FBI to arrest her for fraud.
She called the number from which the message originated and it was a sex chat line. The officer tried calling the number and was directed to a Google Voicemail box.
An employee of the Bath State Bank advised her to file a police report and to block the number, which had been used to harass her.
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