Recognizing Counterfeit Cashier’s Check Scheme (Nigerian Scam)
Seller or Owner of property receives a request from a foreign buyer/renter to accept a cashier’s check as payment or deposit for the item.
- Cashier’s check amount far exceeds the value of the seller’s item.
- Buyer/Renter asks the seller to send the overpayment amount via money transfer service.
The problem is that the cashier’s check is most likely fraudulent and it can often take weeks or even months for the seller’s bank to know if a check is real and clears or is fraudulent. Some checks may appear to be from a US bank but, upon closer inspection, include foreign country or city names. If the cashier’s check is fraudulent, the seller is held responsible.
You should never accept over-payments from someone for items where they are asking to be reimbursed for over-payment.
Items to Look Out for in a Scam:
- The cashiers check will usually arrive via FedEx overnight mail.
- The cashiers check may be from a foreign or local bank, such as Bank of America.
- The “buyer/renter” is usually always working with a “client” or looking for a family member or exchange student.
- They will never provide a phone number or try to call you. In the case they do, it is usually from out of the US.
- They do not speak good English.
- Will usually start and end their e-mail with: “Dear Sir” or “Regards”.
- Usually always has an e-mail address with a free e-mail service, such as hotmail, yahoo and many others.
Use caution and common sense when dealing with any financial transaction:
- Trust your instincts.
- Deal only with local renters, buyers, owners, landlords and sellers.
- NEVER wire funds via Western Union or any other carrier.
- Be wary if the other party wants to overpay using a cashiers check.
- Cashiers checks are not cash! They take 11-15 days to actually clear although the money is available to you sooner.
- NEVER give out personal financial information (eBay or PayPal info, checking account number, SSN, etc.)
Sample E-mail from Scammer:
Hello thank for the fast mail but my client said he can only raise the check for the both the item cost and the shipping charge and my comission ,i believe you get me clear now,get back to me with your full contact address and name so i can forward it to my client to issue out the check without know delay,get back.
Who should I notify about fraud?
FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov)
Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ifccfbi.gov/)
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