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 Post subject: Research Student Seeking E-mail INTERVIEW
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:37 am 
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Posts: 3
Hello, my name is Adrian R. and I am a senior in high school in Cincinnati, OH. I am working on a capstone project that is covering many of the common and less common scams and fraud relevent to today's digital society. This post is a request for anyone that would be interested in sharing their story in an interview either through e-mail or telephone. If interested, please send me an e-mail through the email button below. Thank you very much and I really look foreward to hearing from some board members.

Adrian


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 Post subject: Re: Research Student Seeking E-mail INTERVIEW
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 10:09 pm
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I would be happy to talk to you. Do you have questions ready to go?

_________________
Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of http://ScamVictimsUnited.com
There is strength in numbers!

Share your story with the media and educate others about scams! Details here http://scamvictimsunited.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=6319
Sign our petition http://www.change.org/actions/view/crea ... s_programs
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 Post subject: Re: Research Student Seeking E-mail INTERVIEW
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:28 am
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Shawn,

First thank you for catching me on that as I was unaware. I am finalizing my questions right now and hopefully will have them completed by the end of tomorrow if that is alright with you. Thank you very much in advance for your help and I will contact you again tomorrow.

-Adrian

Part 1: The Interviewee
Feel free to omit any information you do not feel comfortable sharing but at the same time it will really benefit me to include this information as I have to cite all of my sources.
Name:
Position/Title:
Connection to your topic:
Contact Information:
Date of Interview:
Length of Interview:

Part 2: Creating and Labeling Your Questions
These are a few questions that I find most important for me to answer and an expert’s opinion will really be helpful. Any other information that comes up while responding will is more than welcome as well. Thank you very much.


Other than being the co-founder of what appears to be a very successful website focused on resources for scam and fraud victims, what experience do you personally have with the topic of scams and fraud?

How do you think con artists and the crimes they commit have changed since the internet has become a practical way for shopping and banking and personal information is now “securely” transmitted over the internet?

In your experience with the website, what do you think is the most common con and what are some indicators for that crime?

Is it possible for one to make themselves less likely to be targeted by a scam artist? What are some ways that this can be done?

Currently, how do you think the laws and punishments match up with the crimes committed? Do you think the punishments for fraudsters should be increased?

Regarding ATM scams, do you think there should be more control put on who can purchase ATM equipment? Where do criminals get most of this credit card number stealing equipment?

Overall, is the sophistication of some of these crimes increasing as time goes on? Is a scam that has been around for say ten years (ex. 419) still mastered in the same way or has the internet made is easier for criminals?

In the U.S., do we have sufficient resources both governments funded and others for victims of these crimes? What are some of these resources?

What is the most common demographic, if any, to fall victim to a scam or con?

What do you have to say about many experts opinions stating that only those who are “greedy” and have a “desire for easy money” are subject to cons?

Is using the rule “if it seems to be too good to be true than it probably is” a good rule to following in order to avoid these crimes?

How do you see the future of fraud and scams being? With the internet allowing us to track people’s movements much easier, will this type of crime decrease?

Thank you very much for your time as I am sure you are continually kept busy running the website and if you are interested in seeing part of the final product I would be more than happy to share my research paper with the message boards.


Last edited by AdrianR on Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Research Student Seeking E-mail INTERVIEW
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 10:09 pm
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Adrian,
WOW . . . those are some GREAT questions! Because there are so many, it is going to take me a little time to compose my answers, but I was wondering if you would allow me to use your questions as the topics/subjects for some of my blog entries.

And yes, I would love to see the final outcome of the research paper. We have been looking for a way to get some of this information into the school systems . . . educate the kids about the scams and then they will have a better chance to not become a scam victim.

_________________
Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of http://ScamVictimsUnited.com
There is strength in numbers!

Share your story with the media and educate others about scams! Details here http://scamvictimsunited.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=6319
Sign our petition http://www.change.org/actions/view/crea ... s_programs
Follow our blog http://scamvictimsunited.wordpress.com/
Find us on Twitter, Facebook and more http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch
_______________________________________________
Has this site helped you?
Buy us a coffee to say thanks ~ http://www.scamvictimsunited.com/donations.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Research Student Seeking E-mail INTERVIEW
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:28 am
Posts: 3
Shawn,

Take as much time as you need I have a few more weeks for research and feel free to use any of the questions in your blog. Also I am glad that you say that because I will be presenting to a large group of students and adults alike. My goal is to make them more aware of the dangers that really are out there and ways that they can make themselves less susceptible to them.

Thank you very much and if any of the other members are reading this, it would benefit me greatly if you to answered some or all of the questions. I may post some more if I come across anything else.

thanks again,
-Adrian


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 Post subject: Re: Research Student Seeking E-mail INTERVIEW
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:28 pm 
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AdrianR,
I sent you the info for part one via private message. Let me know if you run into any problems getting that message.

I am going to answer a few of the questions, since there are so many and I want to make sure I give full answers to all of them. What I don't get to tonight, I will finish later this week.

Quote:
Other than being the co-founder of what appears to be a very successful website focused on resources for scam and fraud victims, what experience do you personally have with the topic of scams and fraud?

In October of 2002, my husband and I became victims of the counterfeit cashier's check scam while selling a car online. You can read all of the details of that here. http://www.scamvictimsunited.com/our_story.htm
We soon found that there was very little information or resources for scam victims, and at that time there was no place for victims to go and just share their stories and "vent" about things, so we decided to start a website. It first started as a yahoo message group, and then a freebie geocities site, but we quickly outgrew that, and created the site that you see today. We felt like if this site could save one person from going through the financial and emotional rollercoaster that we went through, then it would be worth it. I cannot even count the number of people we have helped in the past 6 years, and for that I am very glad.

We have done a lot of work over the years to help and educate people about scams through things like

· Interviews for television, radio, newspaper, magazines and the internet including
o CBS Evening News
o NBC Nightly News
o Fraud Squad http://www.fraudsquadtv.com/
o MSNBC.com
o Wired Magazine
o The Washington Post
o Reuters
o The Mike and Juliet Show
· Speaking at a Press Conference at the Iowa’s Attorney General’s Office
· Working with groups like the National Consumer’s League including participating in work for the site fakechecks.org (I was there the day that many of the victims stories were video taped)
· Working with the NCVC including being a workshop presenter at the NCVC’s annual conference in 2007
· Working with the NW3C and I3C on press releases and other educational items (there is more in the works with this)

Quote:
How do you think con artists and the crimes they commit have changed since the internet has become a practical way for shopping and banking and personal information is now “securely” transmitted over the internet?


The internet is a wonderful thing . . . it lets us go anywhere in the world at any time of the day (and we can do so sitting in our pj’s) but it is also a dangerous thing in the fact that it allows anyone to come INTO our homes in that same way. With computer viruses, scam and fraud emails, online predators . . . suddenly our living room is a dangerous place if we have not taken the right precaution. So many people get used to just sending info via email that they forget that there are ways for anyone to get in and read that information. If you would not say it in front of your mother, maybe you better not type it in an email . . . or on a message board for that matter. We think we can hide who we are with the unique usernames we pick, but then we also let our guard down and post info like phone numbers, places we go, or email addresses online which is putting out the welcome mat for spam, scams and predators.

_________________
Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of http://ScamVictimsUnited.com
There is strength in numbers!

Share your story with the media and educate others about scams! Details here http://scamvictimsunited.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=6319
Sign our petition http://www.change.org/actions/view/crea ... s_programs
Follow our blog http://scamvictimsunited.wordpress.com/
Find us on Twitter, Facebook and more http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch
_______________________________________________
Has this site helped you?
Buy us a coffee to say thanks ~ http://www.scamvictimsunited.com/donations.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Research Student Seeking E-mail INTERVIEW
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 10:09 pm
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Okay . . . here is the rest

Quote:
In your experience with the website, what do you think is the most common con and what are some indicators for that crime?


I feel like counterfeit cashier’s checks and counterfeit money orders are the most common scams. Many of the other scams are just “variations” on this scam.

This is the scam that my husband and I were hit by. We were selling a car online, and the person who was going to buy the car was overseas and sent us a cashier’s check, but it was for more than the amount we were selling the car for. He asked if we could just pass the overage on to the person who would be taking care of shipping/transporting the car. We figured that if the check clears the bank and the money is good, then what is the problem. Well, the bank told us that it was clear, but then a week later called us back and said it was counterfeit and that WE were liable for the entire amount.

Here is what most people do not know . . . and that I found out after becoming a scam victim. . . . is that the terms that banks use are words that give the customers a false sense of security. Here are a few things about banking terms that you should know.

What “Clear” really means:
“The check has cleared” does not mean the money in your account belongs to you. It only means that the clearing house has not sent the draft back for non-sufficient funds, closed account, or flag instructions on the account. It does not mean the draft was written by the account holder.

Depending on the size or purpose of the account, the account holder may not notice the absence of funds for several days after the draft has reached his bank. In fact, an account holder may have up to one full year to report an unauthorized draft.
Bank statements are usually sent out on the 1st or 15th of the month. If the transaction took place near one of those dates, the account holder may be unaware of the unauthorized transaction until statements are sent out the following month and time is taken to balance the statement.

The problem . .. . when a customer brings a cashier’s check or money order from someone that they do not know into the bank, and the bank tells them that it is “cleared” (some times after only 24 hours) it gives the customer a false sense of security that they can spend/use that money, but this is not the case. If a problem comes up with this document, the bank will come back to the customer and demand that they refund the entire amount.

What “Available funds” really means:
“Available funds” does not mean the money in your account belongs to you, even if a hold has been taken off the draft.
When you deposit a check into your bank account, your bank advances you the money for that check to keep the wheels of commerce moving. Of the millions and millions of checks processed every day, a relatively small number are returned because of a problem; because of this, banks and credit unions must automatically credit depositor accounts within a certain number of days.

A bank or credit union can make an exception to the rule and wait for a longer period of time on any given deposit before crediting the depositor account, but apart from such an exception the credit is automatic. Again, this wording gives the customer a false sense of security about the authenticity of the document in question.

This credit to your account is called a “provisional loan” and is actually a no-signature loan from your bank to you. It does not mean that your bank has been credited by the account holder bank. If your bank HAS extended you a “provisional loan” and you normally had a very low account balance, or had been the type of customer who would be denied a loan if you apply for one with your bank, you should know that their are some scam victims who have fought back against their banks using this as their case.

The only time the money in your account really belongs to you is when the check or money order has been HONORED, meaning your bank has been credited (paid) by the account holder bank.

ALWAYS ask your bank if the draft has been honored and DO NOT TOUCH THE MONEY until it has.

When in doubt about a draft, tell your bank to send the draft for COLLECTION.

Some banks are starting to use the terms “The check is pending” when the money has been deposited into the account, but the check has not yet been honored.

Sending a draft for Collection:
When you send a draft for Collection, it means that your bank or credit union will not put any money in your account until the draft has been paid, i.e. your bank has received the credit from the account holder bank.

Your bank or credit union will charge you a fee and give you an approximate time before the draft is honored. This time period may be as long as 6 to 8 weeks depending on the location of the account holder bank.

Some banks and credit unions will provide the collection service even if you do not have an account with them, so long as you pay the service charge.

All of this is on our blog at
http://scamvictimsunited.wordpress.com/ ... k-they-do/

Also, NEVER contact the bank off of the information that is listed on the check to verify the check. It could be a fake number that goes to the scammer. If it says it is from the Bank of America then go online and go to Bank of America’s website that find the phone number for that location that way.

Anyway, back to the variations that I was talking about . . . the Romance/Dating can be a variation on this. The scammer will meet you on a dating site, get to know you, and then will ask you to help them out because they have a cashier’s check or money order that would take to long to process overseas, so could you cash it for them and then wire the money back to them.
The lottery scam is another one. They send you the check and then you have to pay a portion/fee for taxes out of the check, which you wire to them.

The rent/roommate scam is another variation. The contact you off of an ad you placed online for a roommate. They are overseas and want the room, and want to hold it so they send you a cashier’s check for the rent and deposit. Then something happens, or they need you to wire the overage to the moving company to pay for that, and they ask you to wire the extra money to them.

Work from home scams have a variation too. The really popular one right now is the Secret Shopper Scam. You see an ad online to be a secret shopper, or they contact you off of your resume being online, then you are told you will be secret shopping and evaluating a Western Union or MoneyGram location. To do this, you will need money to wire, correct? So they send you a cashier’s check or money order and ask you to cash it and keep a certain amount for your payment (around $100) and then wire the rest back to them.

One thing to know with this scam is that I have been told by someone at MoneyGram that they do not even USE secret shoppers as a part of their regular business practices. That right there is the BEST red flag there is if you are told you are secret shopping a MoneyGram. Western Union DOES use secret shoppers, but their secret shoppers are given cash to use and are NEVER sent a check or money order to cash.

There are tons of other variations . . . for every situation on the internet the scammers will think of a way to try and make this one work. Basically, if you are sent a cashier’s check or money order for ANYTHING or ANY REASON and they ask you to then wire money back to them IT IS A SCAM. Some scammers will go as far as to tell you that there has been a death in the family, so they have to back out of the entire transaction which makes you feel like you HAVE to send the money back . . . if you don’t you are keeping their money, right? This is just their back up way of getting you to wire the money when they think you are on to them.

Quote:
Is it possible for one to make themselves less likely to be targeted by a scam artist? What are some ways that this can be done?


If you are on the Internet and have an email address, you are a target, but that is why education about the different scams and the banking terms above are so important. If you know this information then you are at least better protected.

There are always ways that we can be safer. You would not leave cash on the front seat of your unlocked car, right? Well, in the same manner you should not send account or identification information via email. Never click on a link in an email in order to “update your account” because those links will often go to fake sites the scammers have made that look like the real thing. If you are worried that there really is something wrong with your account, call the business or go to their site on your own and check the information there. We have all become too trusting that if it is in a email with the right logo attached it MUST be from the company that they say they are with.

Also, Google is your friend! When in doubt, Google it and see what comes up. I know that many people have Googled things like a scammer’s phone number, or the company that they say that they work for, and that search has brought them right to a post on our message board and then saved them from becoming a victim. Google is a very powerful thing!

Another thing that some people do not know is that you should not post your email address online. There are computer systems that go out and look for these email addresses and scammers that are lurking on sites collecting them. You are opening yourself up to spam and scams doing this. Most message boards have a system where when you sign up you enter your email address, and then when you post on there if anyone wants to contact you they can go to your profile and click on the “email” button. On our site this email button appears under every post you make so it is easy to find. This is a safe way for people to get your email address.

Quote:
Currently, how do you think the laws and punishments match up with the crimes committed? Do you think the punishments for fraudsters should be increased?


Here is the problem . . . so often they cannot catch the scammers to enforce the laws or punishments. A lot of them are in Nigeria, or other overseas countries, and it would have to be the government and law enforcement over there that would have to do something about it.

Again, this is why education is so important. The other thing that could be done on this end is for laws to be passed requiring places where you wire money and banks to post signs about this. Or, creating public service announcements that educate people about this issue. National awareness campaigns would also help . . . they have one for every medical condition out there, why not for scams and fraud. Instead of saying “funds are available, banks could tell their customers that . "Money is available in 24 hours, but it could take up to two weeks for the check to be honored." Also, I feel that we should be teaching some of this information in the school system. If you teach the children now then you are giving them the information and the power that they need to protect themselves later on. I feel that information like the banking terms could easily be brought into a business, accounting or home economics type class.

Quote:
Regarding ATM scams, do you think there should be more control put on who can purchase ATM equipment? Where do criminals get most of this credit card number stealing equipment?


Here is one scam that I do not know a LOT about. When we started the site we were focused on the counterfeit cashier’s check scam, since that is the one that hit us, but as we got the word out there we started to learn of other scams so we added information about them on to our site to try and help spread the word about them also. We are actually in the middle of re-doing our site to increase the amount of information that we have . . . the scams are changing every day.

I am going to guess that just like anything else, there is a “black market” for these items. I never really thought about putting more controls on who could purchase these items, but you are right, that is not a bad idea. (there is another law to get passed . . . add it to the list)

And now that we are talking about it, what about making restrictions on who can purchase versajette printer and the special magnetic ink that is used to make the counterfeit checks. There are a lot of scammers that “hire” people to be their Accounts Payable Department Manager . . . you can find these and the secret shopper ads all over Craigslist . . . anyway, the Accounts Payable Manager needs to send off checks to “clients” and they are told to get a versajette printer and the special magnetic ink. Then the scammer sends them a list of names and amounts, they print off the checks and send them out . . . this basically makes them the middle man for the scammer, and this way the scammer does not have to do the printing and mailing. (Hey, this could be the first time that work was “outsourced” to the United States!)

Quote:
Overall, is the sophistication of some of these crimes increasing as time goes on? Is a scam that has been around for say ten years (ex. 419) still mastered in the same way or has the Internet made is easier for criminals?


For this one I am just going to refer you back to my answer about the different variations of the scam. Right after we got hit in 2002 selling a classic car online I personally contacted sites that sell classic cars and got some of them to post warnings. I went to sites where collectors “hang out” and would post on the message boards about what happened to us to try and warn people. Well, once the word started to get out is when we saw things change from them going after people selling cars to people selling horses, then it went to musical equipment, and then the flood gates opened up to all of the variations I listed before. They are learning what works and what does not. As one variation gets less “hits” they think of another one. That is why it is so important to know that it is not why they contacted you, what company they say they are with, or the amount of the check/money order . . . the only thing that is important is that if they send you a check/money order and then request ANY PORTION of it wired to anyone IT IS A SCAM.

Quote:
In the U.S., do we have sufficient resources both governments funded and others for victims of these crimes? What are some of these resources?


There are a lot of places that people can report scams to, and you can find our list here.
http://scamvictimsunited.com/resources_ ... _check.htm
But the sad thing is that not one of these places can help a scam victim to get their money back. Why? Because the scammers are in another country. That country would have to be the ones to enforce and do something about this, and when this is bringing millions of dollars into their country every year, they tend to turn a blind eye to the problem.


Quote:
What is the most common demographic, if any, to fall victim to a scam or con?


Email and webpages are the two main tools used by the scammers to make contact with their potential victims, so if you are on the Internet, you are at risk. Complaints have been filed by both men and women, and in every state across the country, in all age groups. In the 2007 Internet Crime Report, the Internet Crime Complaint Center recorded over $239 million lost to Internet crimes, and over 91% of the complaints came from the United States.

Here is a report from the Sentinel on the topic
http://www.ftc.gov/sentinel/reports/sen ... cy2008.pdf

Here is something I put together for a speech of my own. (pretend that the following words are being said to a large group)

The reason that these scams work so well is because they use counterfeit cahiers checks, money orders or traveler's checks, and the counterfeits are so good that many bank employees cannot tell the difference. They have watermarks on them and are made on the same quality of paper, so they get passed into the system just like a real cashier's check would.

To demonstrate how anyone is vulnerable to these scam, I would like to ask all of you a question, . . . if you deposited a cashier's check into your bank account, at what point would you feel safe that check is legitimate, and that you can use the funds from it with no financial risk?

(If you could raise your hand to show which answer you think is correct)

A) After 24 hours
B) In 7 - 10 business days
C) When the check clears
D) When the funds are made available
E) A and C
F) C and D
G) None of the above

If you said A, you would have become a scam victim. Many banks will tell customers that a cahier's check is verified in 24 hours. This is what our former bank told us when we deposited the check we received. Then, one week later, they called us and said that same check was now
found to be counterfeit, and we owed them the money.

If you said B, you MIGHT NOT have become a scam victim, but it is still possible. As I just stated, our former bank found out that our check was counterfeit in one week, so we would have been saved, but there are some victims I have worked with that have seen there checks come back several weeks or months later. I was once told that a check could come back 6 months later, and the account holder would still be held liable.

If you said C, you would have become a scam victim. The term "cleared" only means that the clearing house has not sent the draft back for non-sufficient funds, closed account, or flag instructions on the account. It DOES NOT mean that the draft was written by the account
holder, or that the money belongs to you.

If you said D, you would have become a scam victim. When you deposit a check into your account, your bank advances you the money for that check to keep the wheels of commerce moving . . . you cannot spend the money until you have it . . . so they credit your account with what is called a "provisional loan", which is a no-signature loan from your bank to you. This DOES NOT mean that your bank has been credited by the issuing bank.

If you said E or F, I'm sorry, I only put those in there to try and throw a few people off. Since I have already shown you how A thru D are not correct, well, two wrongs don't make a right.

The correct answer is G, none of the above. The sad part is, the scammers know this, and they use that to their advantage. This is why these scams work so well.

So, all of you in the room who answered G are safe from becoming a victim of a counterfeit cashier’s check or money order scam, but the rest of the room would have become scam victims.
(if you use this, let me know what happens . . . how many people get it right)

Another thing that I know that others have used to make the point that anyone can be scammed is to ask how many people in the room are parents with young children who have broken down and bought the candy bar or the toy to make the child happy or behave in public? You’ve been scammed.

Or, how many of the men in this room have bought drinks for a pretty lady all night at a bar because she was flirting with you and you thought that there was a good chance she would be coming home with you, but then she told you she had to go to the bathroom and would be right back and left the bar? You have been scammed.

Or, in that same situation and you asked for her phone number and two days later when you called the number it turned out to be a fake number? You have been scammed.

Scams work because the people doing the scamming tell you what you want to hear and they play on your emotions.

Quote:
What do you have to say about many experts opinions stating that only those who are “greedy” and have a “desire for easy money” are subject to cons?


Wow . . . this is one of those things that gets under my skin. First, refer back to the info on banking terms and the “quiz”. If people say that only greedy people become scam victims, they I guess everyone that answered A – F must be “greedy”

I have often had people come on the site and accuse us of being greedy and then say that “hey would never send money to someone that they did not know from one of those email “help me get money out of the country” emails that we all get. I give them this response. . .

I was not speaking of the "419 Advance Fee Fraud" type scams, but of the newer and lesser known Nigerian Counterfeit Cashier's Check Scam. For more information on the second scam you can visit http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/co ... _2003.html
or at our website we list information on both of these types of scams, but to summarize some of the differences . . . .

Initial Contact -
419 Scam
People are contacted out of the blue by the scammers.

Counterfeit Cashier's Check Scam
People have placed an ad somewhere on the internet to sell an item, so they are expecting to receive emails from people they do not know in response to this ad.

Personal Information -
419 Scam
The scammer asks for your bank account information in order to transfer a large amount of money out of the country and into your account.

Counterfeit Cashier's Check Scam
The scammer asks for your name and mailing address so that they can send you a cashier's check for payment and transportation of the item you are selling.

How you loose money -
419 Scam
Scammer tells you that there are fees that have to be paid before the money can be transferred and you are to pay them.

Counterfeit Cashier's Check Scam
When you get the check from the scammer and bring it to the bank they tell you that the check is good, or that it has cleared. Feeling assured by this information, you take the portion of the check that was supposed to be for transportation and wire it to the appropriate people. Then, days later the bank notifies you that the check was counterfeit and that you are liable for the money that you took out, even though the only reason you took it out was because they had assured you that the check was good.

Victims -
419 Scam
While they may not know that it is illegal, they do know that the situation that they are entering into is one is which they will receive a large amount of money for assisting someone else, and that it will not be a lot of work on their part.

Counterfeit Cashier's Check Scam
Innocent people who were just trying to sell items that they no longer want or need on the internet, and who trusted the word of their banks when they told them that the check was good, some of which are now facing criminal charges because not enough banks and law enforcement agencies are educated on this scam.

I hope that now you can see that when you said “the victims too are criminals” and that they are “greedy” that this is not true.

I am hoping that we can all work together to help to inform and educate the banking industry, law enforcement and government agencies so that when a case is presented that is clearly a Nigerian Counterfeit Cashier's Check Scam, and not a 419 Advance Fee Fraud scam, charges will not be brought up on these innocent victims causing them to go through an unnecessary legal nightmare, and tying up the legal system in unnecessary court time, money and procedures.

Here is another comparison I have made . . . with the 419 scams, you can think of it like a person with a gambling addiction. Each time a gambler looses money, they think “but it has to pay out soon” so they keep going. For some people, I think that could be part of the hook on 419 scams and why it is hard for them to believe that there will never be a big pay out.

Here is yet another example for you . . . in the case of the scam that we were hit with, we were selling an item online. We were keeping only the amount that we were selling the item for. We were returning the rest. Now, when you think about it, how is that different than making change in a retail transaction?

I have also heard that scam victims are stupid and that is why they fell for the scam. To that I say that the “stupidest” thing that I did was to trust that my bank was giving me accurate information about the authenticity of the check, and the amount of time that it would take for that check to be verified as real.


Quote:
Is using the rule “if it seems to be too good to be true than it probably is” a good rule to following in order to avoid these crimes?


I had someone else tell me that it is not if it is too to be true, because amazing stories happen every day . . . people really do win the lottery . . . it is if it is too good to pass up that you need to dig deeper.

And again, Google is a great way to check out this information.

Quote:
How do you see the future of fraud and scams being? With the Internet allowing us to track people’s movements much easier, will this type of crime decrease?


I see the near future of scams increasing, especially with the economy like it is. People are looking to make some extra money . . . by selling things online, renting out a room in their house, picking up a side job (like being a secret shopper) . . . so they are out there and open to the games the scammers are playing. We have seen a huge increase in the number of victims of the secret shopper scam in the past year.

Like I said before, the Internet Crime Complaint Center recorded over $239 million lost to Internet crimes, and over 91% of the complaints came from the United States. Now, don’t you think our economy would be doing a little bit better right now if all of those MILLIONS of dollars would have stayed here in the United States? That is why I say the problem of scams is not just one for the victims, but one for all of us. When the victims are out this money and cannot pay back the banks then the banks will suffer (has anyone heard of the bank bail out?) If people are trying to pay the banks back because their accounts are negative, do you think that they might have a hard time paying their mortgage? (has anyone listened to the new about the rise in foreclosures?) That is why scams are a problem that affect each and every one of us . . . victim or not.

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I would LOVE to see this report/paper once you have finished it! If there is anything that I have said in my answers that is not clear or that caused you to think of even more questions please feel free to let me know.

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Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of http://ScamVictimsUnited.com
There is strength in numbers!

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 Post subject: Re: Research Student Seeking E-mail INTERVIEW
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 10:09 pm
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AdrianR

So . . . how did the report and presentation go?

_________________
Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of http://ScamVictimsUnited.com
There is strength in numbers!

Share your story with the media and educate others about scams! Details here http://scamvictimsunited.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=6319
Sign our petition http://www.change.org/actions/view/crea ... s_programs
Follow our blog http://scamvictimsunited.wordpress.com/
Find us on Twitter, Facebook and more http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch
_______________________________________________
Has this site helped you?
Buy us a coffee to say thanks ~ http://www.scamvictimsunited.com/donations.htm


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