Haughton family nearly swindled out of money - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Haughton family nearly swindled out of money in bogus check scheme

HAUGHTON, LA (KSLA) -

It's a stark reminder that there is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back.

A Haughton family says they nearly got caught up in such a scheme after applying for a job on a classified ads web site.

Kasey Hilburn turned to Craigslist to find a rental home, but it was a job listing that caught her eye. She applied for her fiance for warehouse employee position, but something about it made her leery.

"It was just a bad feeling I had in my gut to begin with, but I was looking out for my family and he needed a job," said Hilburn, who sent the so-called employer her fiance's address and phone number.

The craigslist poster informed her that her fiance got the job, and sent them a $2,970.00 cashier's check with directions to keep around $400.00 for the first week's work and wire the rest of the money back.

"I thought, this doesn't sound right at all," said Hilburn. Kasey called the California-based credit union listed on the check. That bank told them immediately that it was a bogus check.

While the couple didn't cash the check and lose their money, the CEO of the Shreveport Federal Credit Union Helen Godfrey Smith says plenty of people across the country are getting taken. Part of the reason people are falling victim is because the bogus checks look real. 

"It's a relatively good copy of a check," said Smith, who looked at the check Hilburn received, but explained there are some giveaways that show it is fake. "This part on the back of the check has some blurring and not clear printing," said Smith.

According to Smith, it takes about a week for banks to figure out if cashier checks are fake. When that happens, the person who cashed the check will have to pay back all of the money and could face fraud charges. "They've actually committed a crime unbeknownst to themselves," said Smith.

It's a mess that this family hopes to warn others about. "If we didn't trust our gut, we'd probably be in a lot of trouble right now," said Hilburn's fiancé Justin Flores.

Craiglist does have a message on their website warning of situations like this that can lead to someone being swindled out of their money. 

If you think you've been a victim of a bogus cashier's check, click here for more information.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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