Counterfeit Cashier's Check
Find out where to report these scams
How the scam works . . .
You are selling an item over the Internet - it could be a used
car or motorcycle, jewelry or even bred animals. You receive an email offer to
purchase your item and the buyer says he'll send a bank
cashier's check. The buyer is from Nigeria or "West Africa", but has a
business associate in the United States who will send you the cashier's check.
Then you are told that for some reason the check was already made out to you for
an amount larger than your asking price. The buyer asks you to please
deposit the check, wait for it to clear, and then send him the difference --
"but only after the cashier's check clears, of course."
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 wait the time the bank
recommends to verify that the check is clear and then you wire the difference to
your buyer in Nigeria 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 the entire amount of the cashier's check.
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 items abroad.
How to Protect Yourself
If you are selling
online, be extremely skeptical of any offers
- from overseas to
a party you do not know
- paid by
- from buyers sending more than
the purchase price of the item
- from buyers who seem more
worried about payment than the shipment of the item to them once payment is
- from buyers who show little
or no concern to the condition of the item they are purchasing
Also, a bank may make
money "available" to you almost at once if you deposit a purported bank
cashier's check, but that's NOT a guarantee the check is authentic. It
could be returned as counterfeit up to three years later, and the bank will hold
you responsible for the money.
Ways to verify
a check include:
• FDIC and OCC
• Our Story
Copyrightę 2009 Scam Victims United
Disclaimers, Message Board Guidelines and