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Published January 12, 2010, 05:05 PM

Devils Lake Equipment Scammed

A Devils Lake business is out more than $12,000 in parts after being scammed.

By: Renee Chmiel, WDAZ

A Devils Lake business is out more than $12,000 in parts after being scammed. Devils Lake Equipment, the area's John Deere dealer, was the victim of the scam.

The Devils Lake Police Department says these scams are becoming more and more common. In fact, it now spends around 10 to 15 percent of its time dealing with fraud cases.

It's business as usual again at Devils Lake Equipment. But that wasn't the case in December, when a man with a foreign accent claiming to own a local business called and ordered parts.

Sue Schwab/Detective: "What he had ultimately done was gave the company prepaid Fed Ex labels and three orders had gone out."

Not only were the credit cards that were used to pay for the parts stolen, but the Fed Ex labels that were used to ship the items were also from a stolen account. The parts were shipped around the US and police say they believe they were to be shipped to Nigeria afterwards. Some parts were recovered after people at a warehouse became suspicious.

Sue Schwab: "They went to three different locations in the US, including Miami, Auburn, California, and Boise, Idaho."

The parts in California and Miami were recovered, and a woman in California is being charged with Knowingly Receiving Stolen Property. Although the stolen credit card numbers went through at first, the credit card company caught on and notified Devils Lake Equipment. When a fourth order worth $8,000 came in, the company knew not to fill it.

Sue Schwab: "When someone calls and requests a large order thoroughly check it out."

Businesses should be especially cautious of large orders if they are for people far away or if something seems irregular.

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