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Post new topic   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    SCAMPATROL Forum Index -> INFORMATION RELATED TO SCAMS AND OTHER FRAUD
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Nov 2004 02:36    Post subject: COUNTERFEIT CHEQUES Reply with quote

If you've placed an ad on the internet or a listing on an auction site like eBay you may have received an email like this:

Dear owner,
Good day to you. We are agents that deals in buying cars,bikes and boat for numerous customers. I have a client interested in buying your advertised car on roadfly for the sum of $20,300.and we would want to see the most recent picture of it,please what is the presend condition.I would want you to also know that you would be paying with a certified cashiers cheque Please if you are interested in selling do send me a mail and I will arange the payment.
For your information we are based in Nigeria and so is my client

In most cases the scammer isn't in the slightest bit interested in the item you are offering for sale. All they want to do is rip you off!

So how does this scam work? Well you'll be offered payment by cheque, normally a cashier's cheque which will be send to you via courier. This cheque will probably be for an amount, considerably larger than the amount required to cover the cost of the item you're selling plus the shipping.

The scammer will request that you pay the cheque into your bank and then wire the excess to them via Western Union or in some cases MoneyGram. They will stress that you need to do this URGENTLY. This is important for them because they only have a matter of days from the point you pay the cheque until it bounces and you discover the cheque is a dud.

So what happens? Well the cheque will probably initially appear to clear and many banks allow you access to the funds, even though its hasn't cleared. However once the bank discovers that the cheque is counterfeit or stolen the cheque will bounce and your bank will withdraw these funds from your account. So if you were to do as the scammer requested and withdraw the excess and wire it to him/her, you'll lose this money as the bank will hold you liable for the cost of the cheque.

The scammer of course by now has disappeared into the depths of cyberspace by this point along with your money.
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Captain Igloo
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Joined: 09 Nov 2004, 19:56
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Aug 2005 20:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Originally written by Q:

Cashier's cheques used to be a guranteed method of payment as they were backed by banks. However nowadays thanks to the scammers and the amount of counterfeit they produce a cashier's cheque is no longer even worth the paper its written on.

Personally unless I was accepting payment from someone I knew I wouldn't touch a cheque or money order of any kind.

There are a few ways to spot suspicous cheques.

  1. An overpayment is being made and the surplus (change) needs to be wired back.
    If this the case its a surefire way to tell the cheque is fraudulent

  2. The printing on the cheque is poor quality

  3. The paper is too thick or too flimsy - the paper cheque's are printed on has a distinctive feel

  4. Missing perforations - a genuine cheque will generally have been taken out of a book or from a sheet and should have perforation along one or more of its edges, counterfeit cheques however are generally cut possibly with sccisors and lack these perforations.

  5. Missing security features - many bank incorprorate security features into their cheques. These could be watermark which you can see if you hold the cheque up to the light. Some banks use holograms, which are very difficult to produce. The letters/symbol in a geniune hologram should change colour as you tilt the angle of the cheque. They should also be shiny and not dull. Most cheque will have features which are only visible under UV light. This maybe the bank's logo or the name of the bank across the cheque.

Don't just rely on this information. The cheque may be stolen. So the feature mentioned above are present. If the cheque is stolen it will be still be returned unpaid after the account holder reports the suspicous activity on their account.

Demand drafts are also something to watch out for. Many scammers are using a service call Q-chex. Demand draft look much like cheques, except they don't have to signed by the account holder. The cheques from Q-chex look real because they are real. The thing is anyone can sign up with Q-chex and use someone else's banking information. Q-chex doesn't make any security checks.

If the cheque is issued by Q-chex and you don't know the person who is buying from you. Do not accept it. Ask for another method of payment, like Western Union money transfer (while Western Union isn't safe for buyers to use -it safe for sellers to accept) If the person agrees to use Western Union do not send the good before you have the cash in your hand. Many scammer will tell you they will send your part of the information and the rest when you have provided them with a tracking number. This is not true. They are hoping that you will send the item out to them and the item will reach them while they play hard to get. It can be very difficult to get an item returned once you've shipped when you release the buyer isn't going to pay up, and it might not become apparent that you can't collect the money and get paid until its too late and the scammer has received the item you sent.

Other methods that scammer like to use to pay include

  • Western Union Bidpay (or Auction payment) - the scammers spoof emails that apparently come from Western Union that say they've paid and you should now send a tracking number. The emails are fakes. No money has been paid. ALWAYS check you Bidpay account to check the money has been deposited before you ship

  • Paypal - as above scammer fake emails from paypal. Check your Paypal account before shipping. If the money is there always use a method of shipping that gives you a tracking number and retain all receipts that prove you've send the item. If the buyer files a dispute with paypal, paypal will ask for these. If you can't prove to paypal that you've send the item. Paypal will find in favour the buyer and refund their money and issue a chargeback against you.
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