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Cashier’s Check Fraud

This scam involves a seller advertising a valuable item over the Internet. A “buyer,” often from a foreign country, contacts the seller about purchasing the item and states that he plans to use a cashier’s check issued from a bank/credit union in the United States. Then the “buyer” tells the seller that he either “mistakenly” sent too large a check, or that he will be sending a check for more than the purchase price. In either event, the seller is instructed to immediately wire the “balance” back to the buyer.

The unsuspecting seller then deposits the cashier’s check in their bank account. Under a federal banking law, the customer’s bank is required to make those funds available to its customer on the business day after the funds are deposited. So, the unwary seller is able to withdraw the “overpayment” before the check winds its way back to the bank that supposedly issued it (since it is fraudulent). That can take 7 days, or even longer. Of course, after wiring the money back to the buyer, the scam artist is nowhere to be found.

And you are out the balance you wired to the thief. Myth: cashier's checks are the same (or almost) as cash. No they aren't.

Posted on November 16, 2004 at 09:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (167) | TrackBack

419 spammers use Holocaust to boost credibility

A spammer has bombarded at least 75,000 inboxes with an e-mail scam that offers recipients a share of US$35m from a World War II Holocaust victim's bank account, experts say.

In what appears to be similar to a Nigerian 419 scam, the fraudster has used legitimate organisations to plead his case. The supposed author, Ronald Lauder, said he was a member of Swiss organisation the Independent Committee of Eminent Persons (ICEP), which he said tracked down bank accounts that have been dormant since 1945.

from ZDNet Australia

Posted on November 6, 2004 at 10:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Michigan House approves bills to crack down on identity theft

A large package of bills aimed at preventing and cracking down on those who use others' identity to rack up bad debt won approval Wednesday from the state House.

from Detroit Free Press

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on November 6, 2004 at 10:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Phishing Tab To Reach $500 Million

A new study weighs in with estimates as to how much online fraud, or phishing, is costing consumers.
Seventy-six percent of consumers are experiencing an increase in spoofing and phishing incidents, researchers found, and 35 percent said they receive fake e-mails at least once a week.

The total bill thus far? US$500 million.

from NewsFactor Network

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on November 6, 2004 at 10:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Inside the dark art of phone fraud

By Lea Thompson
Dateline NBC

I've been covering phone fraud for years and every time I try to tackle one of these criminal chameleons I am struck by how ruthless they are. Many are phone gangsters. They work in gangs, they are very tough and they are extraordinarily elusive. Their victims are often the most vulnerable and the least able to take the monetary or the emotional hit.

It is hard to explain how clever and sophisticated these guys are unless you can infiltrate them with hidden cameras or catch them somehow in the middle of their crime...

It's astounding how often people get taken in these phone schemes. The FBI estimates losses from telemarketing fraud emanating just from Canada exceed $100 million a year. That may be a low figure because victims often don't report the crimes because they are too embarrassed or they never do realize they have been taken.

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on November 6, 2004 at 09:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Man Sentenced in Theft of Patient's Identity

SEATTLE -- A technician at a cancer center was sentenced to 16 months in prison for stealing the identity of a gravely ill patient, who spent months trying to clear his name while the disease ravaged his body.

The technician, Richard W. Gibson, 42, is the first person in the nation sentenced under a new law designed to protect patient privacy, federal prosecutors said Friday. Gibson will be required to pay at least $15,000 in restitution, including reimbursing patient Eric Drew for the time and money he spent trying to clear his name.


Category: ID Theft News
Posted on November 6, 2004 at 08:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wells Fargo customer data stolen again

For the third time in a year, Wells Fargo & Co. has reported computers containing customer personal data have been stolen from a third-party vendor.

This time the $422 billion financial services giant sent letters to thousands of mortgage and student loan customers saying four computers were stolen last month from Atlanta-based Regulus Integrated Solutions LLC, which prints loan statements for a number of big banks. Wells Fargo did not say how many of its 4.9 million mortgage and almost 900,000 student loan customers were at risk. Though no passwords or PINs were on the machines, the stolen computers did hold customer names, addresses, social security numbers and account numbers, according to the Associated Press.

A spokeswoman said there were no reports of misuse and that the company was providing its free credit-monitoring service to those who enrolled by March 31, 2005.

Category: FRAUD ALERTS, ID Theft News
Posted on November 4, 2004 at 08:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

FDIC warns consumers on e-mail ''phishing'' scam

The FDIC issued an alert about an increasingly common e-mail scam designed to steal personal information and money from millions of unwary consumers. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), perhaps best known as an insurer of bank deposits, issued its warning about so-called "phishing" eight months after criminals began misappropriating its name and reputation to perpetrate e-mail fraud.

More from IndiaDaily

Posted on November 1, 2004 at 05:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Lottery Scam Targets Elderly

NEW YORK (CBS) Every year, one out of three adults in the United States gets a call from a con man, and the very best in the business of telemarketing fraud are known in the con game as "the closers."

They are the smooth, persuasive talkers who convince people to send them millions of dollars based on a phone conversation.

Recently, the most talented closers in the business have been working something called the Canadian lottery scam, one of the largest, most successful cons ever.

from CBS 2

Posted on November 1, 2004 at 05:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Identity theft up by 45% in Britain

The problem of identity theft is becoming a growing concern for Britons, with 90% of people who have heard of the crime worrying about falling victim to it.

Incidents of identity theft, when a fraudsters uses someone else's personal details to apply for credit or benefits, soared by 45% last year.

from ic Wales

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on November 1, 2004 at 05:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sellers run risk of identity theft when selling on eBay

A rhinestone jewelry reseller treasured the significant sales she was making on eBay until an identity thief trashed her account. They dragged her rhinestone reputation through the mud by selling a John Deere tractor for $19,000, among other things, under her screen name.

As a powerseller, the woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was popular with customers.

from The Daily Times

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on November 1, 2004 at 05:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack