Local woman, authorities caution against scam checks

Fulton resident Bonnie Williams holds a check she recently received through FedEx — allegedly from the California College of Arts. Williams said she has received two such scam checks over the past several days, and warns others against being fooled by similar packages.

Fulton resident Bonnie Williams holds a check she recently received through FedEx — allegedly from the California College of Arts. Williams said she has received two such scam checks over the past several days, and warns others against being fooled by similar packages. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

When Fulton resident Bonnie Williams received a $1,950 check through FedEx at the end of last week, she knew it was too good to be true, as was the $2,800 check she received Monday in the same way.

“I’m 83 years old, but I’ve got enough sense to know a scam when I see it,” Williams said. “It’d be nice if they were real, but anything that sounds too good to be true, usually is.”

Allegedly from the California College of Arts and the College Board, respectively, Williams said she realized immediately that her apparent financial windfall was suspicious, and she started making calls. When she was unable to get an answer at a phone number she found for the California College of Arts and Sciences, Williams called the number of the sender listed on the first package — sent from Louisiana, despite the name on the check — and was told they had sent no such check, but that someone had recently hacked their computer system.

A frustrated Williams contacted her bank and local authorities, but was not satisfied with their response that she should simply shred the check and be grateful she had not fallen for the scheme.

“The bank said if I had deposited it, they would have gotten all kinds of information about me — including my account number and my signature — more than you realize,” Williams said. “I think people should be warned about this.”

She said she was especially worried about someone else falling victim to the attempted scam because her FedEx delivery man told her he had a large number of similar packages to deliver.

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