Justice of the Peace Scam
Some Vermont justices of the peace (JPs) have reportedly been contacted by a scammer claiming to solicit wedding services. The scam involves a fake check well over the amount for marriage ceremony services and a request to send the excess to another ceremony vendor. In one instance, a JP was mailed a fake check in the amount of $1,800 and instructed to send the majority to a videographer. If you are a JP and receive such a request, do not cash the check. The check is fraudulent and will ultimately bounce. Scammers hope the JPs will cash the check and wire transfer, or otherwise transmit the remainder of the funds to the scammer. The Attorney General’s Office advises to never send money to an unknown party and to cease all communication with the scammer immediately.
Fake orders of goods/services is a common scam reported by Vermont businesses. JP information is publicly posted online. Businesses should be aware, if your contact information is posted online, a scammer is more likely to contact you in a similar way.
Vermonters who have fallen victim to this scam should immediately contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program at 800-649-2424. You can also report internet crimes to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx , or to:
Office of the Attorney General ([log in to unmask] ,
800-649-2424, https://ago.vermont.gov/cap/ )
Consumer Assistance Program
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1001.