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Santa Cruz County woman warns of candy bar fundraiser scam | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp

LIVE OAK — He had the “beaten-down look of someone who works in education,” so Bryn Del Mano said she gladly handed over a check for $15 for a Kit-Kat candy bar fundraiser.

Two days later, Del Mano was scrambling to shut down her checking account after her bank alerted her to a woman in San Diego trying to cash a cloned check from Del Mano’s account.

“I paid with a check only because I hardly ever carry cash anymore,” said the Chanticleer Avenue resident. “The original check was not deposited anywhere.”

The man who arrived at Del Mano’s front door Monday afternoon tugged at her heartstrings, she said, because he said he was raising money for after-school programs and she herself was a retired school teacher. The candy bars were selling for $10, but the man suggested she up her donation to $50, so that the candy bar manufacturer would match the amount. A $50 donation, however, was “a big ask,” Del Mano said.

Now, Del Mano wanted to alert both her neighbors and the greater community to the potential scam before they, too, were taken in. Or at least, she said, to encourage them to check their accounts. She herself reported the crime to the Santa Cruz Police Department.

“I don’t know if he had the ability to take plastic. But, definitely, if anyone paid with a check, fraud will be involved,” Del Mano said. “It’s not just me. I’m not that unlikeable.”

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