Darien resident falls victim to fake check scam

A Darien resident was defrauded for more than $2,000 as a part of a fake check scam. The victim told police an individual had approached him while he was in Greenwich and attempted to hire him as a production assistant.

On June 24 the victim received a message from a woman identifying herself as Megan O’Neill, an employee for Elle Magazine. She said she wanted to hire the complainant as a photographer for an upcoming photo shoot in New Orleans, and requested his personal information.

On June 29 the victim received an email stating that a check in the amount of $1,980 had been sent to him and would be delivered that day. He was instructed to cash the check and give $1,550 to a specific travel agent, the remaining $430 would be his down payment for the photo shoot.

The victim said O’Neill texted him frequently regarding the check and he deposited about a week after receiving it. On July 7 O’Neill texted the victim instructing him to withdraw the $1,550 and deposit it into a Bank of America account and send her a receipt, which he did at a Norwalk branch.

Two days later the victim was notified that there had been a miscalculation with payment and he was asked to send $300 via MoneyGram to a person in Indiana. The victim said he did not find the request to be unusual as it was a Sunday and banks were closed.

However, On July 12 the victim discovered that the check he had been given failed to clear with his bank and he was now $1,800 in debt due to the withdrawals. He attempted to contact O’Neill but received no further response. Darien’s Detective Division was notified of the incident and is pursuing an investigation.