Counterfeit Check and Cashier's Check Scams

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KA9FOX
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Counterfeit Check and Cashier's Check Scams

Post by KA9FOX » Thu Jun 12, 2003 4:18 am

Here's how the Counterfeit Check /Cashier's Check scam works:

The key ingredients:
  • selling on-line
  • buyers from a foreign country
  • offering to pay with bank cashier's checks
  • wants to pay several thousand dollars more than the asking price, and
  • wants you to send back the difference.
The details: You are selling an item over the Internet - it could be a ham radio or motorcycle, or even puppies. You receive an email offer to buy at your asking price - say, $4000 - and the buyer says he'll send a bank cashier's check. The buyer is from a foreign country... usually Nigeria or "West Africa" but lately we have seen them from just about anywhere.

At the last minute the buyer asks to send you a cashier's check for $3000 MORE than your asking price, and asks you to send him the difference -- "but only after the cashier's check clears, of course." (Perhaps he explains that someone in the U.S. owes him $7,000 and it would be simpler if that person just sent the cashier's check to you and you sent him the $3,000. Or, perhaps he says he needs the extra dollars for shipping.)

You are skeptical - but, sure enough, the bank cashier's check arrives by Fed Ex, it looks real, your bank accepts the check, and the bank assures you the funds are in fact available. So you wire $3,000 to your buyer in the foreign country and prepare to ship your item.

A week later your bank calls: "We're very sorry, but the cashier's check was counterfeit" -- a superb copy, but worthless. Your account is frozen. You must pay the bank back $7,000. You may even be considered a fraud suspect yourself. Your "buyer" disappears. (About the only good news: sellers rarely get to the point of shipping their car or animals or items abroad.) This scam is cheating people nationwide.

Stay clear of this scam!

Read more about it here:
http://kyattorneygeneral.com/news/2003rel/checkscam.htm
http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/co ... _2003.html
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2002/12/prweb52153.php

Many more sites available about this scam, just search google.com and you will find them.
Last edited by KA9FOX on Thu Oct 02, 2003 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

w8jn
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 1:21 pm

nigerian cashiers check scam

Post by w8jn » Mon Jul 21, 2003 1:59 pm

remember all items deposited take 5 - 14 days to clear the original bank... a "counterfeit" cashiers check will "bounce" a long time after you wire the cash.. i am holding a BEAUTIFUL counterfeit bank check sent by "his client" i was aware of the scam in advance, and i toyed with the guy to see if i could get him to send me a check. it really is a very good copy , watermark and all.. framed and posted on my wall... be carefull out there paul w8jn

N5LON
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2005 3:53 am

Counterfeit Money Orders

Post by N5LON » Sat Mar 26, 2005 4:02 am

I have been "dealing" with a guy named Hank Thomas (or Hank Thoms) on a radio that I had for sale. It was one of those deals where he wanted to send me a Money Order for $1000 for a $75 radio, and I was to cash it and he'd arrange pickup of the cash and radio (he was supposedly sending the radio to his client in Malta and that was the smallest denomination of MO they could get). Of course I knew the scam and got the post office involved right away. They have had a rash of fake MOs lately and really have no interest anymore. I even got the guy to relinquish control of this deal to me, where I was calling all the shots when I refused to Western Union the money to him...claiming I was an invalid and couldn't get to Western Union. He finally agreed to have Fed Ex pick up the package of money and radio (they even came here today for it), so I know the address it's going to is legitimate (in NY). Do you think the PO would even act on this? Not even chasing shadows here, we have a definate pickup point, and they don't even care. Guess this fake-money-order-thing would be a great business to get into...it's apparent it's not against the law if enough people do it. At least that's what the PO told me indirectly, ("there's so many people doing it now that we just can't follow up on the leads.") I guess if everyone shoots someone, then it's a crime that becomes legal by default!

KA9FOX
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Post by KA9FOX » Sat Mar 26, 2005 4:12 am

I wonder if the local police would be interested? There has to be some agency that would assist... or maybe it's time to document this and talk to your congressmen.

- Scott
Free Ham Radio Classified Ads: https://swap.QTH.com
Web Hosting & Domain Name Services: https://hosting.QTH.com

ScamVictimsUnited.com
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:29 pm
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Post by ScamVictimsUnited.com » Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:53 pm

We have a website for victims of these scam and we are trying to put together a letter writing campaign to bring more media attention to these scams.

Feel free to stop by and find out more info on our fight.
Shawn Mosch
There is strength in numbers!
www.ScamVictimsUnited.com

N2CUE
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:19 pm

fake money orders wish they were good

Post by N2CUE » Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:23 pm

So far in the past week i have recieved over five thousand five hundred dollars worth of them and the same thing goes, i cash,i pay them. I look at them and say thats nice too bad i can really go shopping with these things, i'd have a field day.

but enough of that i went as far as to contact interpol to report these people. If you recieve mail through yahoo mail, you can show the original ip address of their computer used to send the emails, and so i took all the ip address of the emails i recieved from nigeria and i put into a list and sent it off to interpol to see if they can do something about it. I never heard back from them. what a shame.

VE2AMN
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 3:34 am
Location: Beloeil, Quebec, Canada

Post by VE2AMN » Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:01 am

Interpol is not the right place.
In the US, it`s the Secret Service that takes care of the Nigerian scam, so I suppose that it`s the same thing for this one.
Try their web site for the procedure.
Gilles, in the great white north..

k5dkz
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:19 pm

Re: Counterfeit Check and Cashier's Check Scams

Post by k5dkz » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:07 pm

Simple solution: Don't accept checks. Don't even reply to inquiries that offer payment by check. Insist on cash. Cash can be sent safely by registered mail.

KA9FOX
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Re: Counterfeit Check and Cashier's Check Scams

Post by KA9FOX » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:23 pm

k5dkz wrote:Simple solution: Don't accept checks. Don't even reply to inquiries that offer payment by check. Insist on cash. Cash can be sent safely by registered mail.
Cash is good. My personal preference is PayPal, since they offer some protection if you do not get your item or it is misrepresented. Do NOT using the Personal or Friends/Family feature, which avoids fees, as PayPal does NOT offer their protection for these types of payments. Scammers often try to get you to use the Personal aka Friends/Family feature, saying it will save them fees... they are really trying to remove your protection which could allow you to get your money back.

- Scott KA9FOX
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ah7i
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Re: Counterfeit Check and Cashier's Check Scams

Post by ah7i » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:22 pm

USPS money order is safe if verified and exchanged for cash at the post office. It's also convenient to get cash and send package at the same time.
73, -Bob

KA9FOX
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Re: Counterfeit Check and Cashier's Check Scams

Post by KA9FOX » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:30 pm

ah7i wrote:USPS money order is safe if verified and exchanged for cash at the post office. It's also convenient to get cash and send package at the same time.
73, -Bob
It might be somewhat safe for the SELLER, but it's like flushing money down the toilet for the BUYER. If you buy an item and pay with a Money Order, and you never get your item, you have NO RECOURSE. Sure, you can whine to the USPS and they will tell you they will "investigate mail fraud" but it will go nowhere (I've never heard of any situation where this came to any positive conclusion).

Guys, just use PayPal. I really do not understand why anyone does anything else. It provides protections for the buyer AND seller (as long as you do not use the "send to friend/family" feature)... and well worth the 2.7% fee to the seller.

- Scott
Free Ham Radio Classified Ads: https://swap.QTH.com
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ah7i
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Re: Counterfeit Check and Cashier's Check Scams

Post by ah7i » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:58 am

Scott-

I do not know your experience, but I have had absolutely no problems dealing with hams using USPS money orders.

I only send them to the address registered in the FCC database. This way, I know the money is going to a ham's address. Unless you believe scamming is rampant within the ham community, it's a safe way to go.

Second. Before I send any money, I do my homework on anyone I don't know already. If his on line presence is flaky and he's got mugshots in his home and two surrounding counties, I'm likely to pass on the deal.

Third. I don't deal with victims, "my loss, your gain... family emergency... lost my job... dingo ate my baby..."

Advantages of the USPS money order for selling. Cash it at the post office and you know it's real. Mail the geegaw at the same time, and save a trip. USPS requires cash to buy one so you know the buyer actually has the money and has had a chance to think about his purchase on the way to the post office. Advantages for buying. ID is required to cash it. It's cheap compared to Paypal or other money orders. You get a refund if it gets lost.

Anyone who believes scamming is rampant within the ham community is better off trading through HRO or other businesses that deal in used gear.

Paypal's business is based on the premise, "you can't trust anyone". Based on the number of on line complaints and the trouble I've had with paypal, I can't trust paypal. I also do not buy any used stuff on ebay unless the seller is transparent about his identity. As for refunds for counterfeit or misrepresented product.... Aliexpress is much easier to deal with than paypal/ebay.

-Bob

NK7Z
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Re: Counterfeit Check and Cashier's Check Scams

Post by NK7Z » Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:23 pm

I always use Paypal... Saves all of the issues discussed here...
73's and thanks,
For equipment reviews and setups see:
http://www.nk7z.net

KA9FOX
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Re: Counterfeit Check and Cashier's Check Scams

Post by KA9FOX » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:42 pm

ah7i wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:58 am
I do not know your experience, but I have had absolutely no problems dealing with hams using USPS money orders....
Bob, your message talked mostly about you, as the SELLER. You get the USPS MO, cash it at the Post Office, and you are good to go. Sure, that's great. But if you are the BUYER, it is not so good. As a BUYER, if you send a USPS MO to someone, and they don't send you the item you bought, or the item arrives significantly different from what you agreed upon, you have NO RECOURSE. Well, sure, you could file a fraud report with the USPS (won't help, but might make you feel good... USPS won't do crap about it.)

If you pay with PayPal (or a Credit Card, if your seller can take one), then you can contact PayPal and file a claim, and probably get your money back or at least get PayPal to act as an intermediary to get the problem resolved (full or partial refund, return, etc.). NOTE that if you use the "Friends & Family" feature to send money with no fees, then you LOSE your right to file a claim... scammers LOVE to ask you to send money that way.

Your mileage may vary. I'd never buy anything online from a private seller, unless I am using either PayPal or a Credit Card, as both give me leverage to resolve a problem with the purchased item.

- Scott KA9FOX
Free Ham Radio Classified Ads: https://swap.QTH.com
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ah7i
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Re: Counterfeit Check and Cashier's Check Scams

Post by ah7i » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:41 pm

Scott-

My initial comment was in the context of scam money orders being received by sellers. So, of course I addressed USPS benefits to the person selling. No one is going to send you a USPS money order for $1000 for a $75 item. When you take a USPS money order to the USPS and do your mailing, even if you get there before thy have enough $ to cash it, the USPS will let you know if it is valid or counterfeit.

On my second comment, I led with sending the money order to the ham's FCC registered name and address. You'll know who you got your money!

All my comments rest on the premise that it is the rare ham who is out to scam you. Review the complaints about scams. The small percentage that involve actual hams are often misunderstandings and the few that aren't...could have been prevented with a simple google search on the ham before doing the deal. It is wise to think twice before sending thousands of dollars to the address of a $35,000 mobile home that is also the address of domestic battery and meth complaints.

The important part of my second message is not the instrument but where it is sent.

73, -Bob ah7i/w4

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