CTV Consumer Alert
Published Sunday, June 19, 2011 6:53PM MDT
CTV Calgary Consumer Specialist Lea Williams-Doherty looked into a cheque cashing scam and travel club complaints.
A Calgary man who was trying to find a roommate almost fell for the counterfeit cheque cashing scam that is continuing circulation.
He advertised the room for rent in his house on Craigslist and got a response from a man who claimed to be relocating to Calgary from the UK for his job.
The possible roommate asked for the man's phone number, name, and address so his employer could send the damage deposit and pay the first month of rent.
He was also contacted by a shipping company that claimed to be transporting the roommate's car overseas.
When he received the cheque, it was for more than the rent and deposit combined.
The roommate asked the man to deposit it, keep what he was owed, and wire the rest to the shipping company to pay for the car.
The man contacted Lea, and did not fall for the scam.
If he had, he would have found the check deemed counterfeit after he had deposited it and wired the funds.
He then would have had to repay the bank.
Even though he didn't fall for it, the man was still worried about identity theft since he'd given a criminal his personal information.
Kara Hendriksen of the Better Business Bureau, says that these people are not looking for confidential information.
"Your address is already out there, so if you're giving them information that's already out there you don't really need to worry," she says. "What you need to worry about is cashing checks from people you don't trust or wiring money to an unknown source."
Lea says that the bottom line is whenever you sell something online, and get a cheque for more money than you're owed, it's a scam every time.
This week's second alert is for victims of a now obsolete travel club.
The club was first called Royal Club International, and then its name was changed to Chateau World.
It used various gimmicks to sell travel club memberships and timeshares for Canmore property.
Many complaints surfaced over the years and Chateau World eventually went under last year, taking member's money with them.
Now, those members are organizing a class action lawsuit against the lender that backed Chateau World, called Crelogix Acceptance.
Members allege the Burnaby, B.C., company improperly collected money from them after Chateau World ceased operations and its properties faced foreclosure.
Crelogix denies any wrongdoing.