The MNA team received word over the weekend that a check cashing scam hit a number of Montana nonprofits. So far we know of at least five organizations that have been targeted by the same scheme. Please be on the lookout for this scam.
It goes like this:
- Organization receives an unexpected donation of around $200,000 to honor someone’s late mother. Multiple orgs have said the amount the received was $191,250, and that the email came from Alphonso Blye.
- The cashier’s check looks legitimate so they cash it.
- Within a few days, the same donor emails to say there has been a mistake - the donation should have been $100,000 - and could the organization refund the remainder?
- Meanwhile, the cashed check bounces and the organization is out $91,000.
So far, everyone who has contacted us has managed to catch the scam before falling victim, but with this amount of money, the scammer only needs to convince one.
Please be wary! DO NOT EVER send money to someone whose identity you cannot verify with 100% certainty. When in doubt - ask the donor to wait 30 days before issuing a refund.
If your organization has been a target of this scam, please let us know by calling 406-449-3717, or emailing email@example.com.
Reporting the scam will help us gather resources in case a member of the nonprofit community does fall victim and needs help recovering the $91,000.