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Johnson County couple target by fake-check scam

Posted: 11:36 PM, Dec 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-09 00:36:19-05

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A Johnson County, Kansas, was targeted by one of the latest money-laundering scams, which involves a fake check and Google Play gift cards, that law enforcement officers are warning about across the country.

The Prairie Village Police Department issued a warning this week on Facebook about the scam, but it was still a shock to the Jacobson family when it happened to them.

“That much money, it really is too good to be true,” Bev Jacobson said.

Bev Jacobson recently signed up to be a mystery shopper. When she got a priority mail package, she thought it a legitimate piece of mail.

“I had investigated being a mystery shopper, then I looked at the check and said that's a lot of money,” Jacobson said.

The package contained a check for nearly $3,500 with instructions inside to cash the check, go to the store and buy Google Play gift cards. 

Jacobson and her son looked up the bank online and noticed it was a scam. 

“There were other complaints about it and you would receive something very similar so we knew it was a scam," Bernie Jacobson said. "... I think it is sad, because they are picking on old people."

But the story doesn’t end there.

Last year, Bernie, who is Bev’s husband, received a call. 

“It sounded just like my son-in-law in Atlanta," Bernie said. "He went through this story of how he got arrested."

Bernie said a "detective" told him that his son-in-law was in jail in New Jersey, which is where he's from.

The "detective" then asked Bernie to get gift cards from a local Hy-Vee to pay his son-in-law's bail. It was believable enough Bernie told Bev to go to the store. 

“Your Grandmother or grandfather would probably walk to the end of the earth to get you out of a jam,” he said.

Bernie said a store employee stopped her and told her it was probably a scam. 

Whether its Google Play, a fake call about a family member being arrested, the Jacobsons have the following message. 

Stop, think, and do some research before acting. 

“It makes me feel kind of sad that people are naive (and) don’t do their research," Bev said. "Call the police department, go to the bank, go to the post office.”