It seems there are endless sources of Scams in L.A, and probably all over the U.S. - this information was just received from our Neighborhood Watch Lead Officer. While most of us know better than to accept/cash something unsolicited, we also know family members and friends who are not always quite as up on these things:
"One of your neighbors recently received a Fed-Ex, overnight envelope (very official in appearance). When she opened the envelope she found a solicitation from a "secret shopper" company and a check for over $2000.00. The enclosed letter provided her direction to cash the check and then forward money back to the organization. She was smart enough to look this "gift horse" in the mouth as it were, and she and a friend did some research on the supposed company on the internet. Bottom line is, after a few minutes of research they were able to establish that this company was not legitimate, and ultimately was requesting that she send the money outside of the USA. She found that no two names were the same on any of the company documentation and information she found on the internet.
Our station also recently took a report from someone who was contacted on the internet with a similar scam. The Victim was sent two checks one for around $3000.00 and one for $500.00. The Victim was told to deposit both checks and send a cashiers check for the $3000.00 back to the company while the $500.00 was hers to keep, free of charge, for no services rendered. She did as she was directed only to later find out that both the checks were bad and she was out $3000.00.
The moral of the story here is if it sounds to good to be true, it is. No one is going to give you money for nothing, especially not in this day and age. Trust your instincts, like your neighbor did. If anything sounds remotely fishy or not right to you, it probably is. Err on the side of caution because no one wants to be cheated out of their hard earned money."