Scammers 'hijack' Abilene business, posing as legitimate company

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - Hijacking is something that's usually associated with flights or transportation, but it can happen to businesses, too, in what is essentially identity theft. One private business in Abilene was hijacked recently, and that's caused problems for scamming victims across the nation. The owner of the real business is surprised, and annoyed, by this unlawful use of his information.

Mike Denny owns MJD Canyon Investments. It's a personal holding company. Denny explains that it has "no employees, none at all. It's just a limited partnership that holds personal assets."

That's why Denny was so surprised when he got word from the Better Business Bureau that several complaints had been filed against his business. "I didn't make the complaint", he says, which is what clued him in to the problem.

Denny was told that his business had been offering work from home employment, but as it turns out, it wasn't actually his business making those offers.

Abilene Better Business Bureau President John Riggins says that this is a "work from home" scam, but this version has some extra steps that make it look safe.

The "job" is simple enough. You'll get a check in the mail, and you deposit that check into a bank account. You'll be in contact with someone named John Harrington, who even recommends banks you can go through. Once you have the money, all you need to do is forward a portion to an overseas account, and keep the rest. What victims don't know is that the check will bounce, and they'll be out all that money. As for "John Harrington", Mike Denny says he doesn't know anyone by that name, and the BBB was unable to turn up records for him, either.

Riggins says that the check makes this look like a no-risk investment. But he says, "It is risky. It's a scam. Whatever amount of money you send to the out-of-country account, you won't get back."

The BBB has created a new page for the fake business, so if anyone has complaints, they'll be directed towards that page, leaving the real one to carry on as normal.

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