A DALKEITH-based charity is warning people to be on their guard after it was targeted by a fraudster.
Willie Dunn, business manager of the Midlothian Advice and Resource Centre (MARC) – which recycles donated furniture and sells it at low cost to help families on low incomes – told how the attempted scam took place after a three-piece suite priced at just £30 was advertised on the classified website Gumtree.
“This chap contacted us and said he wanted to buy them,” said Mr Dunn.
“He said he was out of the country and would get his secretary to send over a cheque.
“But when the cheque came to us it was for the wrong amount – £1900. He then e-mailed to say he wanted us to refund the difference through Western Union.
“But the date on the e-mail was actually before the date on the cheque itself.
“I took the cheque to the Royal Bank of Scotland in Dalkeith, and it turned out that it was a forgery and would never have cleared.
“If we’d fallen for it, we would have been £1820 out of pocket.”
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