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Business owner was able to dodge his way out of a scam

Posted at 10:22 AM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 11:22:34-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Local landscaping company 'Eddie’s Landscaping' received several messages from a man saying that he needed some work done.

The man gave the business' owner Edward Del Fierro a check, but as it turns out, this was all a scam.

Del Fierro says he has heard about scams like these, but couldn't believe this was happening to him.

“Within our city, we've seen over a million dollars worth of scams lost just this year in 2019,” says CCPD Lt. Emily Perez.

That's a huge number!

And Del Fierro says he got lucky.

He gave a customer a quote of $250 to cut some trees. When the check arrived, it was in the amount of $2,550, which was way more than what was expected.

He knew it wasn’t right and called the bank.

“Don't fall for that scam, and don't take it to heart if you do," he said. "I mean, some of us have good hearts and we try to do the right thing.”

The scammer wanted Del Fierro to send the extra money back.

"This sounds very typical," said Better Business Bureau Regional Director Jason Meza. "This is a common theme we hear so much at the Better Business Bureau. It's called a 'fake check overpayment.'

“Never cash those checks, because -- again -- they look so convincing. They look very convincing even banks themselves; have trouble deciphering exactly what's fake and what's real, so never except payment from someone you don't know.”

Meza said small business owners should choose their clients carefully, and think about what they're doing before you decide to deposit any payments.

“And do not give your bank account information over the phone,” said Perez.

CCPD also says another red flag is the use of gift cards.

Officers also say if this happens to you, report the activity to the police right away.

Our Action News team did reach out to the same bank that Del Fierro contacted. They told us that a lot of their customers have been calling about this same problem.