Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell says an unusually dangerous phony check scam is being reported to his department.

The sheriff says the scam starts with the intended victim receiving a genuine USPS (U.S. Postal Service) priority parcel addressed to the specific person with a correct spelling of their name and correct address. Inside the package is a letter, allegedly from a consulting firm and a ''check" made out to the victim in the amount of $2,900.

Both the consulting company and the credit union the check is allegedly drawn on are legitimate businesses, although the businesses are not part of the scam.

Lowell says the check is very professional in appearance and an internet search for the credit union will take the victim to that company's website, which includes the logo displayed on the check. The letter with the check claims the check is payment for help in evaluating staff performance at post offices.

The recipient is asked to text someone named ''Karl Rajan" at a phone number with an Arizona area code. The person is told to deposit the ''check" in their bank account, withdraw $2,400, and buy three $800 USPS money orders, which are to be left blank. According to the letter, this leaves the person with a $400 "commission" plus another $100 for gas and transportation costs.

The money orders, along with some written comments about postal service employees who are supposedly being critiqued, are then to be mailed to "Karl Rajan." But the victim soon learns that the check they were given was bogus and that he or she is out the money for the money orders.

The scam is especially insidious because the perpetrators take the time to use real names of real companies, learn the names and addresses of prospective victims and compose professional looking checks and business letters that would fool many people.

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