News 12 at 6 o'clock / July 3, 2014
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- As a single mom, Rosemary Thomas does what she can to financially support her family.
"A friend of mine introduced me to Mary Kay," Thomas said.
She advertises her business online, so it came as no surprise when she received a text message from a new customer hoping to order some skin products.
"She wanted the volume set. Well that's no problem. That's like anti-aging, and all that good stuff. It's $200," Thomas said.
She said hours later, she received an email from someone using the name Patty Jones, and that Jones' boss would send a check to cover the Mary Kay order.
Jones who claimed to live in Rock Hill, South Carolina also stated she did not own a credit card, and was deaf. So, she could not talk on the phone.
"She sent me the check priority mail. I got it. I looked at it. It was $2,750," Thomas said.
But when she opened the envelope, she found a business check drawn on the account of a New York company, and not a personal check. The email instructed Thomas to deposit the check, withdraw $2,510, and load some prepaid cards before texting the card numbers to Jones.
"This has never happened to me, and I am mad. I am really mad," Thomas said.
So are the scammers.
Thomas said once the con artists found out where she lives, they sent her a final message in broken English, threatening to kill her if they did not get their money.
"If I don't, I gun your head," said Thomas. "I just basically want to let everybody know it can happen."
Fearing for her family's safety, Thomas said her home is now on a police patrol list. Meanwhile she hopes no one else has to go through the same thing. She credits her past experience as a bank teller to really saving her from losing a lot of money.
So, be skeptical with checks from anyone. Also look for things that do not add up, like poor grammar, and make sure that if your expecting a check that the name that it is drawn on matches with the person or company you are expecting if from.