Police provide ‘scam alerts’ in weekly update

Multiple forgery and identity theft reports were included in Mountain Brook Police Department’s Dec. 8 community update, along with scam alert notes from the department.

On Dec. 6, a woman presented a forged check that she had received from a buyer on Craigslist. According to the update, this is a scam that is becoming more popular. Buyers will send a seller a check for more than the amount of the sale, asking the seller to send a money order for the excess to a moving company, wrecker service or something of the sort. The original check, however, will bounce, leaving the seller out the money they sent back via money order.

On Dec. 7, another Craigslist-related scam was reported. A fraudulent check was presented in the 800 block of Shades Creek Parkway. This particular scam involves individuals being “hired” to cash checks under the impression that they will be able to keep a percentage. The individual who cashes the check will send a money order for a certain amount, but the check inevitably bounces, and that individual is out the money.

A third scam was reported on Nov. 21. The victim said someone who claimed to be from Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office called him, saying he owed a fine for missing a court date, according to the community update. The victim was told to get a Money Pak card and call the number back, and the victim did so. When the victim called back, he gave the number for the Money Pak card and the balance was taken.

Police noted in the update that they do not know of any government agencies which would request an individual to pay a fine over the phone, “certainly not using any type of gift card or money gram.”

Anyone receiving a call like this one is encouraged to hang up and look up the phone number of the agency supposedly calling, and then call that number.

Police also reported several cases of identity theft. Between Sept. 16 and Dec. 5, a victim reported her checking account was compromised and depleted. On Dec. 7, another victim reported her credit card was used to make an unauthorized purchase at Home Depot. The victim was still in possession of her credit card.

On Dec. 2, a victim reported her Saks card was used to place and order that would be shipped to New York. The order was stopped.

A fourth victim reported their credit card was used to make several fraudulent purchases between Dec. 2 and 3. According to the update, Regions Bank has confirmed that a local business was hacked by Eastern Europeans. That group obtained credit card information and have cloned multiple credit cards and are using them to make purchases.

Other crimes reported in the update include multiple thefts. A customer was reportedly allowed to take clothing from a store in the 200 block of Country Club Park. The customer was supposed to either return the clothes or pay for them, but instead the customer never returned.

A car was also reported stolen between Dec. 1 and 2. The car had the keys inside when it was stolen, and it was later found off of Cooper Hill Road on Dec. 5.

On Dec. 2, a theft was reported after an employee reportedly stole items from a store in Brookwood Village.

Two hit and runs were also reported, as were two car break ins. During one car break in, on Dec. 5, an unlocked vehicle was entered but nothing was stolen. A witness called police and reported seeing two individuals on bicycles in the area, but police were unable to locate those individuals. Another unlocked car was entered on Dec. 5, and cash and a knife were stolen. Two bikes, also stolen in the incident, were later recovered.

Police also reported an instance of harassment, where a victim reported receiving “a curse word laced phone call” accusing her of damaging a vehicle.


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