Check scammers get teen's cellphone number

by: John Bachman Updated:

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Thousands of dollars in bogus checks are being sent to metro Atlanta teens as part of a new check-cashing scam. 

Since Channel 2 Action News’ first report on a victim Thursday, several others have come forward. On Friday, Channel 2’s John Bachman spoke with a woman who said the scammers even retrieved her son’s cellphone number.  

For young people strapped for cash, opening an envelope to find a check for thousands of dollars can be like winning the lottery, but it can also be an expensive lesson. 

Herma Pallard's son got a check for $8,400. 

"I'm like, ‘What in the name of God (has) my son got himself into? What is this?’" Pallard said.

In all, Pallard's son received three checks and a money order in the mailbox, for a total of more than $11,000.

Pallard was quick to intercept the fake checks and turn them over to police. They look real, with big bank names attached to them.  If her son had cashed them, he would've been responsible for the money.

"If they cash it, they might get themselves involved in a huge, fraudulent situation," Pallard said.

She said her son did not respond to any suspicious emails or online scams, but somehow, the scammers got his information, including his cellphone number.

"They texted him and said, ‘You will receive a check in the mail. When you get it, contact this number,’" Pallard said.

And Pallard's son is not alone. Several parents of college students who've been targeted have contacted Channel 2 with similar stories.

"I think they're targeting college kids right now because of the economy. Adults are more aware of what is going on, but these college kids, they need money," Pallard said.

All of Pallard's checks came within three weeks of each other.  She said now, she's checking to see if someone has stolen her son's identity.