Macon County Chronicle

RBS MoneyGram Scam Linked to 2012 Identity Theft in Smyrna

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A scam took place in Red Boiling Springs on Friday, February 22nd, when a woman received a package in the mail with over $20,000 worth of MoneyGram orders, that has been linked to an identity theft case last year in Smyrna.

RBS Officer Jimmy Morgan told the Chronicle that last Friday he received a call from a woman, whose name is not being released, requesting an officer at her residence. Upon his arrival he found a package containing $21,850 worth of MoneyGram checks in ten different envelopes with the name and addresses already written on the front, along with a $5 bill for postage.

It seems the woman had gotten very well acquainted with an alleged solider in Afghanstan and he told her she would receive a package on Valentine’s Day. When the female subject opened it up she found the MoneyGrams and from all indications she was to mail them out after putting stamps on them with the enclosed five-dollar bill.

“The name of the purchaser on the MoneyGrams came back to a man in Smyrna,” Morgan said. “I contacted Detective Jeff Duke in Symrna and he confirmed that man did exist and was a legit guy.”

According to the detective, the man was a victim of identity theft who found out last year when he attempted to buy an airline ticket on line. He also said they were dealing with the same type of activity in his jurisdiction.

The scammer claimed to be in Afghanstan and was sending these MoneyGrams to people across the United States.

“No letters were in the MoneyGrams,” said Morgan, “but the victims received them separately from the solider who stated that he needed this money, but had no way to cash them where he was stationed.” 

Morgan said the suspect advised the recipients to cash the money orders and send him $250 and they could have the rest. “They sure looked legitimate, with security seals that functioned,” the officer added. The detective told Morgan that any bank would cash them on the spot.

“I contacted MoneyGrams,” noted Morgan, “and they told me they were flagged, but I would need a court order to receive more information."

Red Boiling Springs Officer Jimmy Morgan still has a lot of unanswered questions in this on going investigation, however he stop the scam and saved the victims $21,850.