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Craigslist, Moneygram and Western Union Part of Alleged Fraud Ring

A Murrieta resident may be stealing money from people via the Internet.

Two separate fraud cases involving Western Union, Moneygram and Craigslist are being investigated by the Murrieta Police Department.

According to a report filed by Murrieta Police Detective Rogelio Vargas, both Miami and San Francisco Police forwarded the fraud cases to him in late June of this year.

In the first case the victim, a Florida man, was combing the internet in search of a driving job, court documents stated.

He came across one that required him to drive someone around Miami for $500 per week.

An unknown person communicated with the victim via email that ‘they’ would pay him $3,850 in advance, Detective Vargas wrote in a report.

The victim received a check for $3,850 and was instructed to keep $660 for his services.

He was then told to send the balance of the check via Western Union money transfer at a person named Jan Murray in Murrieta, the affidavit stated.

The victim was told Jan Murray was the travel agent in charge of making arrangements for the client he would be driving around Miami.

The victim did as he was instructed and sent the balance to Jan Murray in Murrieta.

A few days later the victim learned from his bank his account was overdrawn and the $3,850 check was bad, the report stated.

The second case is almost identical to the first case.

A San Francisco woman was searching on Craigslist for a job.

She found one and started corresponding with a person who identified himself as Danny Montijo, courts records state.

Montijo sent the woman a check for $3,830 and told her to deposit the check, keep $500 for her services and send the balance via Moneygram to Jan Murray in Murrieta, Vargas wrote.

The victim did as she was instructed.

A few days later she learned her account had a negative balance and the check she deposited from Montijo was counterfeit. 

If you have any information related to this case contact Murrieta Police at 951-696-3615.

M. Lee Davis September 13, 2011 at 09:54 PM
1st of all the "victims" are idiots. Who in their right mind would do this. It just doesn't make sense. Why would anyone pay you $3000 more than your salary just to ask you to sent the balance to a third party. 2ND, Thanks Patch for laying out in detail how to pull off a crime like this. Next I'm sure you can tell us exactly what chemicals we can obtain to "wash" a check. Keep crime alive!!
clifford Burdick September 14, 2011 at 12:18 AM
ListenI got a check in the mail the other day said the same thing-looked real but come on IF IT LOOKS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT ISN'T!! HELL_O wake up America!!
JJ Mclure September 14, 2011 at 01:41 PM
Hey Davis....people already know how to do it.
JJ Mclure September 14, 2011 at 04:49 PM
right on Cliff
AFR September 14, 2011 at 07:04 PM
You're kidding? Our P.D. are wasting their time on this??? Is it really that slow for crime in Murrieta that they have to reach out to Miami and San Fransisco for case files? Hey Detective Rogelio Vargas... Tell the "victims" what Craigslist has been telling them on every page of their website: "DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts on craigslist. NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer. FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later." Craigslist has this disclaimer all over their website! Case closed! Sounds like we have too many police uniforms and not enough things to do for them.
Paul September 14, 2011 at 11:12 PM
Ordinary bleach works. They tape a mask over the signature, then place the check in bleach. The amount of the check and the payee disappear. Then they write in a new payee and amount. This is a good way to test whether the ink or gel in the pen you use to write checks to mail is easy easily removed. You can test several pens this way at the same time! Just write all over the check with different pens. I found some pen's ink/gel resisted removal a lot better than others. This is with just ordinary household bleach.
Paul September 14, 2011 at 11:18 PM
If the criminal doing this lives in Murrieta, or is using a Murrieta address as front for this theft, then the Murrieta police should be trying to track him/her down and arrest them. If it were to become known that Murrieta was a safe harbor for those who prey on others this way, we would soon have a city filled with them.

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