Check Scam Reaches South Mississippi Through MySpace

Three weeks ago, Daniel Trochesset was chatting on MySpace when he received an instant message asking him if he'd be like to make some money.

"He was going to send me a check in the mail. He wanted me to take it to the bank, deposit it, let it sit there for three days and then withdraw the money, keeping 400 myself and paying Western Union what I owe them," says Trochesset.

Trochesset says the job sounded easy enough, so he sent the man his address. But, after receiving the check, Trochesset says a red flag went up.

"I thought, this is too easy to get a check for almost $4,000," says Trochesset.

When Trochesset first received the check, he took it to his bank. Both the company, M-Tech Laptops Inc., and the bank from which the check was drawn were legit. But immediately, his banker knew something wasn't right.

"She just pulled out a bunch a files of all these check scams that had been going on," says Trochesset.

Trochesset also noticed some things about the check that didn't seem to be right.

"It even says on the check there's a watermark, but if you hold it up, there's no watermark," says Trochesset.

M-Tech Laptops Inc. says no one from M-Tech sent the check. The company said since October 27th, it's received 12 calls from people saying they've received checks from the company. The president, Jerry Michrina, says it has already taken action.

"We're gathering the information from each specific person that has received a check and having people forward [the information] to us. We forward it to the bank, and the bank will take it and give it to the secret service when it feels it has compiled enough information," says Michrina.

The state Attorney General's Office says this situation is very similar to what it calls "lottery scams." The AG's public information officer says it ranks among the top three scams in Mississippi.

M-Tech says it appears the person sending the bad checks is sending them from the U.K.