According to a recent Dakota County Criminal Complaint, an Eden Prairie man swindled nearly $1500 out of a total of eleven strangers by convincing them to cash ATM deposit envelopes for him for a small cash return. Only later did these strangers realize the ATM deposits envelopes did not contain the cash the man said they did.
From the complaint:
On July 13, 2011, Burnsville police received a fraud report. Through investigation it was learned that on July 1, 2011, a male, later identified as Baker Tababouanga Albert, approached J.T. while he was at the Burnsville Center, Burnsville, Dakota County, Minnesota. Albert asked J.T. to cash a check for him worth $193.00 and that he would pay J.T. $33 for cashing the check. J.T. stated that they went to the ATM and deposited the check into J.T.’s account and withdrew $160.00 which J.T. gave to Albert. J.T. later learned that the envelope that Albert pulled out of his pocket did not contain the check when Albert put it into the ATM for the deposit.
Following a Miranda warning Albert admitted that he asked people to deposit checks for him. Albert also admitted that the envelopes were empty and that the victims didn’t know that the check was not inside the envelope. Albert stated that he wanted to pay the victims back.
Albert was able to swindle $1,460.00 from the victims in these transactions.
The complaint continues for the ten other people swindled in much the same manner. Lazy Lightning compiled the information contained in the complaint and created a table to summarize this information more clearly:
* – Total ($1,540) does not match $1,460 as quoted in the Complaint.
The big question here is a simple and obvious one: if a stranger approached you and offered you $30 to $40 would you agree to cash a check for them at your ATM? Wouldn’t you be uncomfortable that you’d be robbed on the spot more than after-the-fact? Do you use your ATM to make bank deposits? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say about this one.