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Check scams on the rise, locals falling victim

Check scams on the rise, locals falling victim

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Better Business Bureau (BBB) say more and more people are falling victim to check scams every year.

They said these types of scams typically involve sending money to someone for a larger amount of money in return.

Linda Darvell lives in Yakima and said she recently fell victim to the scam.

"I should have known when it didn't feel right to start with, to go with that feeling and I did not," Darvell said. "So I paid the price for that."

She said she was trying to connect with a friend on Facebook and a scammer posed as her friend and contacted her through messenger.

She said the scammer told her they would send her $200,000 if she sent them $150 for FedEx shipping expenses. So she bought i-Tunes gift cards and sent the scammer the codes.

"I just knew as soon as I did it that something was just bad," she said. "Cause that's when things really started going awry."

Danielle Kane with the BBB said these type of scams are on the rise with 500,000 people in the United States falling victim to the scam just last year.

"It always involves some con artist luring people in with the promise of a lot of money," Kane said. "All you have to do is pay him for operating costs."

According to BBB's scam tracker, 25 people were scammed so far this year here in the valley. Most are for just a couple $100 but some lose a couple $1000.

Darvell said she only lost $150 before she caught on, but she wants to warn others so it doesn't happen to them.

"I certainly wouldn't want anyone else to go through that it was horrible mentally," she said. "People don't have that kind of money to just toss away like that."

She said she contacted police but they told her there wasn't much they could do to help her get her money back.

The BBB said if you or someone you know does fall victim to a scam the best chance at getting any money back is to act quickly, by contacting your bank and reporting the scam to an organization like the Better Business Bureau.

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