A man trying to find money to attend school learned a tough lesson.
The unemployed 33-year-old Brownwood man applied for grant money and ended up losing $1,165 to scam artists.
According to a police report:
The scam victim told police he filled out applications for education grants online, and in late January, the man received a call from a woman with a heavy foreign accent. The woman claimed to be from the federal grant department and told the man he qualified for a $9,200 grant.
But to claim the grant, the woman told the man, he needed to put a $100 processing fee on a prepaid credit card and provide the number. The man did so.
He got a call from a different person, a male with a heavy foreign accent, who told him he needed to put more money on the card to pay for the taxes before the grant could be processed. The scam victim continued to put more money on the card, and the caller said there was an error because he hadn't put the correct amount of money on the card.
The caller assured the victim all the money he'd put on the card would be returned to him once the processing was complete. After putting a total of $1,165 on the card and receiving nothing back, the victim contacted police, saying he wants other people to know about the scam and avoid being taken in.
Police learned from the federal grant department's website that the scam has been used on others.
In an unrelated incident, a check-cashing business was taken in and cashed a phony payroll check for $1,500.
According to a police report, the manager ran the check through VeriCheck and received an authorization code. The manager thought that mean the check was good and cashed it for the woman who presented it.
The manager learned from VeriCheck that the check was a fake. The manager contacted her boss, who told her an authorization number from VeriCheck doesn't necessarily mean the check is good.
The people perpetuating the fraud weren't finished. The manager received a call from another woman who wanted to cash a $500 payroll check from the same company.
This time, the manager refused.
In other incidents:
• Deputy Joe Thomas made a traffic stop late Thursday night. The driver seemed very nervous and could not give direct answers to Thomas' questions. The driver consented to a search, and Thomas seized methamphetamine and $36,470 in cash.
Thomas arrested Kim Duncan, 56, of Blanket, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance.
• Brownwood police were dispatched Thursday to Walmart on a shoplifting call. Police arrested Holly McKee, 41, and Courtney Lockett, 39, both of Brownwood, on theft charges.
• Police took a report of the theft of an electric hammer drill from Home Depot.
• Police were dispatched to the 1600 block of Brady for a civil standby related to a child exchange. Police learned both parties had been involved in a physical altercation.
Others booked into the Brown County Jail between 8 a.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Friday were:
Colby Adams, 21, Early, traffic warrants, failure to appear.
Ariel Cunningham, 17, Brownwood, assault public servant.
Bridget Gonzales, 18, Brownwood, assault public servant.
Joshua Hasbarger, 33, Tulsa, disorderly conduct.
Richard O'Connor, 21, Brownwood, theft.
Ashley Pruett, 37, Brownwood, parole violation, forgery.
Jason Watkins, 30, Brownwood, bond withdrawal for hindering apprehension, failure to appear, traffic warrant.