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Postal officials remind residents to be careful of scam money orders

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

WHITESBORO, N.Y. (WKTV) - One Whitesboro resident says he recently received a $955 money order from what looked like the U.S. Postal Service, one that he was not expecting and from someone he did not know.

Gary Munz says he found a Priority Mail envelope in his mailbox, and inside, the money order made out to his girlfriend.

"I opened it and saw $955, was like 'Oh, that's nice,' but if it's too good to be true then it's not,'" says Munz.

Gary's girlfriend brought the money order to the Whitesboro Post Office, who then confirmed it was fake.

"They looked at it and held it up to the light and they could tell it was fake, because there wasn't a seal on it," says Munz. "They advised my girlfriend that it was, in fact, fake and they'd like to keep it and turn it over to the investigators."

Munz says the return address on the envelope was from Florida, and he now wonders who sent it and where the person got his girlfriend's name and address.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Office says there is a scam going around involving counterfeit financial instruments, which include counterfeit checks and money orders - including postal money orders.

They say the con artists often pose as students, tourists, or overseas military personnel asking for help in cashing checks and money orders, tell the victim to keep a portion as a "gift," and wire back the rest, usually to an overseas address.

To verify a postal money order, customers can call the Money Order Verification System at 1-866-459-7822.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service recommends you call their hotline number at 1-877-876-2455 (select option 4) to report this type of fraud.

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