In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 12, 2007 / 10 Nissan, 5767

Too wise to fall for a scam

By Vicki Lee Parker

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Last year, Rebecca Antonelli Custer tried to sell her daughter's 1993 Infinity on Craigslist, a free online classified advertising service.

Her asking price was $1,000. Most of the responses asked for more details about the car, but one eager buyer offered to send a certified check right away.

Custer agreed to accept $900. Within a day or so, a check arrived in a FedEx package - for $2,500.

The man e-mailed Custer, asking her to deposit the check in the bank immediately and explaining that she should give the extra $1,600 to a shipper who would pick it up.

The check was drawn on a Bank of America account. At first glance, it looked legitimate, Custer said.

But she noticed a few things that made her suspicious. There wasn't a perforated edge like the one you usually see on certified checks that have multiple copies. She also noticed that the numbers written on the check were not embossed - another common feature of a certified check.

Custer put the check aside and waited to see whether the man would contact her again. He did several times, and with each e-mail message, he became more impatient.

Then he started calling Custer at home. He apparently got her number from her e-mail tagline. She finally told him that she was going to call the police, and he stopped contacting her.

"He kept trying to convince me everything was legitimate," said Custer, the owner of TrianglePR, a Raleigh, N.C., public relations firm. "But I had read enough about Internet scams; I thought it was a scam."

Custer was wise to be cautious. According to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office, counterfeit check scams appear to be on the rise.

The scam artists respond to people who have posted items for sale on legitimate Web sites such as eBay and Craigslist. Then they offer to buy an item and send a certified check for more than the purchase price. The seller is asked to deposit the check and wire back the difference. Consumers who cash the check and wire the money find out later that the check was fake.

This scam can cause even more problems, as San Francisco resident Matthew Shinnick found out last year. Shinnick tried to cash a check he received from a buyer on Craigslist at Bank of America. He was arrested when the check was found to be fraudulent.

The charges were eventually dropped and his record expunged. But not before Shinnick racked up $14,000 in legal fees. Bank of America has apologized for the incident but so far has refused to pay Shinnick's legal fees.

"That could have easily been me," Custer said.

That could easily have been any of us.

I called Bank of America to find out what consumers should do if they think they have received a bogus check.

Michael Chee, a spokesman for the Charlotte, N.C., bank, said:

  • Do not sign or endorse a check you think is bogus.

  • Call the bank's customer representative and explain exactly why you have concerns about the check. The representative can take the checking account number and the routing number and verify the check.

  • If you decide to go to the bank in person, do not take the check to a teller. Instead, ask to speak directly with a bank manager and explain how the check came into your possession and why you suspect that it's fraudulent.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Vicki Lee Parker is a columnist for The News & Observer. Comment by clicking here.


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© 2007, The News & Observer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services