Online Check Fraud
We all have heard of check fraud happening in the real world, but now, it is hitting the Internet with incredible frequency. It is happening so frequent now that there are cases happening almost every single day. The problem is that these scammers are using a method that is not used in real world...well to some extent. Before I explain how this scam works, we all need to understand about bounce check.
Bounce check or rubber check happens when the person who issues the check, doesn't have enough money in the account to support the amount in the check. For example, he wrote a check for $500 but he only has $200 in his bank account. Because he doesn't have enough money to support the check he wrote, the check will be considered redundant.
The bank considers this as the bounced check scam, and the bank will fine you for such an activity. In many cases, the person who wrote the bounce check also gets into legal trouble. This is something that does happen frequently in the real world, and it is the only similarity with the bounced check scam that happens online. Now I will explain how this check fraud happens online.
Instead of trying to get you to send them a check, those scammers will actually send you a check. This is how the bounced check scam, the most famous check fraud online. usually happens. First they will look for someone who is selling something online. They will then start dealing with that person, acting as someone who is very interested in the product being sold. After a few exchanges, they will agree to the price of the item that is sold.
Now here is where the bounced check scam begins. The scammer will send the seller a check for the item. But once the seller gets the check, he finds out that the check has a value that is much higher that what they agreed on. The scammer will then ask the seller to either bank in the balance or wire transfer the balance to him or someone else. The seller will cash the check into his bank and then he will transfer the balance. But after a few days, he finds out that the check he had received is a bounced check and the bank has removed the money. Only then does he realize that he is a victim of a check fraud.
The seller tries to negotiate with the scammer, but he is not answering any of his replies anymore. He informs the bank and authorities, but the bank cannot reimburse him, and the authorities will almost never catch the scammer because he is usually from another country. So instead of selling his product and getting money for it, the seller instead finds that he has been scammed out of his money by a check fraud.
This is perhaps the most basic form of the scammers bounced check scam. They might use other excuses, and such, but the basis behind the bounced check scam is this. They will send you a check for an amount that is larger than the amount agreed on, and they will ask you to transfer the balance to either an account or to send it by wire transfer. They might use plenty of excuses, like saying that the check will be sent by someone from the same country of the seller, that owes the scammer money and such. There are a million types of excuses that those scammers will use, but if we all remember the basis of how this scam work, we can all detect it and avoid being a victim.
Depending on the scammer and the product being sold, the amount they will try to scam will vary. I've met people being scammed out of a few hundreds, and even some that were scammed out of a few thousands. There is one thing about the bounced check scam that I do have to mention, as it seems that this is one of the biggest reason why this scam works.
Usually, is we were to cash in a bounce check, the bank would almost immediately inform us that it is a bounced check. But it would seem that in certain cases, this does not happen. They will cash the check in, and the bank doesn't know that it is bounced, and the amount written in the check is also shown when you check your account. The reason why this happens is unsure, but it is believed to resulted from banks that are from overseas that take much more time to communicate.
I believe that you can see now why many people have fallen for this scam. When we see the money in our bank account, we believe the money to be legal and already ours. To be sure that we would never fall for such a scam, make sure that the check is cashed for more than one week. Almost all bounced check will show their true colors in that time frame.
This is the famous bounced check scam that is happening frequently online now. Please inform all your family members and friends about this scam so that they too will never fall victim to it. The only way to stop this check fraud is by increasing public awareness of this scam.
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