Cashier check from mystery donor: gift or too good to be true?

Published: Dec. 7, 2016 at 5:03 PM MST
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A Fed Ex box was sent to the head of Mission Medical Center, a local nonprofit which helps those who need medical care, but are un-insured or under-insured.

Barb Cronin was overjoyed by the beautifully-wrapped package and what was inside: a $10,000 cashier's check and three $50 gift cards, all from "your mystery friend ... looking to say happy holidays and thanks for a job well done!"

“What I did when I calmed myself down from the joy of receiving $10,000, I googled cashier check fraud," Barb said.

Barb grew suspicious after reading she needed to give the mystery donor the names and contact info for three other local nonprofits that also do good work.

She called us and we contacted the Illinois bank which issued the cashier's check. We also reached out to the Texas public relations firm which FedExed the box.

Workers there told us the check was legit and gave us clues, but wouldn't reveal the mystery donor.

We wound up talking to another Springs nonprofit, the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, that got the same gift last year. They confirmed the check was not a scam, but a true gift.

Jennifer Peterson with RMFI told us, “We probably talk about it every week to this day -- a year later. It was the most ... It's like stuff that happens in movies, you know."

Barb apologized, “Sorry. I feel so foolish."

I told her, “No, aren't you excited!?"

She remarked, "Now I'm excited, yes!”

The bank also called back, confirming the $10,000 was indeed for Mission Medical Center.

Barb couldn't wait to share the good news with her volunteers.

She told them, "This check is $10,000 from a mystery donor, confirmed." They yelled, “Aaahhh! Ah, snap!"

Barb tells me the reason she initially was so suspicious is because her mother was a victim of the grandparent scam and lost thousands. I have to tell you as a reporter I couldn't be happier. This is the first time that something that seemed too good to be true, wasn't.

It's always good to be skeptical. If you ever have any questions, we're happy to check things out for you.