Saturday, September 15, 2007

Internet crime victims report counterfeit American Express gift cheques being sent to them!

Scam (too good to be true) lure courtesy of miriyaparino at Flickr.

Counterfeit checks like all the ones recently discovered by an International law enforcement team being sent from Nigeria aren't the only bogus financial instruments being sent all over the world.

In this recent effort against this activity, over 15,000 counterfeit instruments were discovered in a months time.

For the past couple of weeks, I've received a lot of e-mail and blog comments from people receiving counterfeit American Express gift cheques in the mail with instructions to cash them and wire the proceeds (minus a paltry commission) back to the sender (scammer).

The reason for all the e-mails and comments are because of previous posts, I've written about these counterfeit financial instruments.

Other than having their financial world ruined, there are reports of people getting arrested after trying to pass some of these instruments. One victim recently wrote me after discovering she had been scammed -- and told me that when she tried to report her problems to the authorities, they advised her to seek legal advice before proceeding -- or she might be charged with money laundering.

The American Express gift cheques can be verified by calling 1-800-525-7641.

Counterfeit MoneyGram and U.S. Postal money orders are still also being sent to people as payment for goods, or in too good to be true lures that are nothing more than a scam.

A lot of these bogus financial instuments come from work-at-home scams, secret shopper, romance, lottery and auction scams. New varieties of these scams appear from time to time, but the common denominator in any advance fee (419) scam is that it is too good to be true and it makes little, to no sense.

Another common denominator in most of these scams is that they will try to get you to wire money. Here is what I wrote about this in a previous post:
The fraudsters want you to cash these counterfeit gift cheques and send (normally wire) the money back to them. When they are discovered to be fraudulent -- you end up taking the "rap" for the scammer and they disappear in an "electronic mist."
If you've received any of these items in the mail, I've compiled a lot of information on how to identify them and report them to the right people, here.

Another development being seen is that real scammers are getting their hands on these instruments, who have no intention of wiring any money, anywhere. In effect, they are scamming the scammers. This makes it a lot harder to figure out, whether or not, a person is a victim or a scammer. Maybe this is one of the reasons more people are getting arrested?

Of course, if the victim never wired the money, they are probably lining their own pockets (my opinion).

The bottom line is that falling, or getting involved in one of these scams can cause you a lot of financial pain and suffering and you might even get into worse trouble.


Caren Stevens said...

I just want to say I got scammed and I received 5000.00 in American Express Checques and the first thing I did was to call American Express and see if they were real. People just don't ask your name and address and send you the real thing, they could get ripped off easily so it made no sense that they would be real and they weren't I was told to call the police which I did because I'd already been in another scam (boy am I learning) the other one was Travis Spencer with Cargo Direct, he would send Laptops camera's etc and then you mail them off to Russia Lithuania etc. Well the police showed up at my door one day looking for a canon lense which FED-EX had picked back up the day before and I had no clue as to why but I found out when the police showed up. It was bought with a stolen credit card. Back to the checks, the lady told me if the police didn't want them to write void across them and send them to the address she gave me. I'm ready for a real job. Also I want to say if people try to use those things buy going to Wal-Mart or where-ever you might as well be a thief. You have to know those things aren't real. Why would anyone really just send money like that to you. People can't be acting that dumb.
I've learned and been told if it looks to good to be true it probley is. When working for Cargo Direct I got payed 24.00 per parcel. I really didn't make that much money but it was wired to me from Russia. I would say I didn't make much over 250.00. After the police showed up and took every thing I receive an email from Travis Spencer saying until I send off these 6 items I won't be getting payed. Oh Well the police have them now and I hope they get caught. Lambloved

Anonymous said...

Sept. 25, 2007

Thanks for this information. I'm a resident in Chicago, and I recently started working for Cargo Direct. I haven't received any packages, yet but I'm woundering if I should notify the police. Looks like their still doing business and even had the nerve to post a ad in a very popular newspaper (classified section).
How do we stop these so-called work at home, online jobs? Any suggestions will be helpful. All I wanted to do is make some extra money, not get caught up in some scam.

Stay at home mom

Anonymous said...

i too had problems with cargo direct but fortunately i found out very quickly. i actually received a telephone call from an electronics company asking about the package and telling me it had been bought with a stolen credit card. what a shock that was. as it turned out they were able to track the package, using information i gave them, to try and get it returned. i also had another package, for which i was waiting for instructions, which they advised me not to send on. they were able to help me track down the business it came from as well as helping me get it returned. they advised me to refuse any future packages, unless they were for us personally. they also said to file a potential identity theft report with the police just in case they tried to use my credit details as well as filing a complaint on about the company. since then i have refused to accept any packages and told the deliverers to return them to sender. at least this way the companies get their stuff back and it doesn't cost you anything to return it. if you think they may leave them on your doorstep, put a notice on your door asking them to return them to sender. if you still get packages, speak to the company who sent it and ask them to distribute your mailing address to as many companies as possible, which will put a block on them sending them out in the first place.the honest and hardworking people of this world do not need to get caught up in this type of scam. good luck in finding proper 'work at home'

Anonymous said...

October 1, 2007

Well, I'm back again but this time with proof that Cargo Direct is a FRUAD. I received my first package(laptops) and mailed it off, only to discover that 2 days later, it was purchased with a stolen credit card. The company called my home to tell me that the item sent was purchased with a stolen credit card. I was in shock!!! Their using hardworking people to do their dirt and where the ones getting caught in the middle. I kindly sat down and sent them a email letting them know what I think of their company. Would you believe that I even notified the police about this but they told me it's nothing they can do about it until they have solid evidence. Well that evidence is going to be hard to get because to my knowledge the company is located over seas. Anyone reading this DO NOT do business with them and pass it on to anyone thinking about it. I guess thats the best we all can do and continue to complain on sites like this and others. We have to start somewhere taking a stand again scam artist like this.

Stay at home mom

Anonymous said...

I was an employee (online) with Courier USA Inc., for 1 month and 2weeks and I was NOT compensated for my work. My position was Shipping/Receiving Clerk. A contract was signed between myself and the employer but was breached when it was time for payment. Payment was the first week of November 2007. When payment didn't arrive, I sent a email to my corresponding senior-manager. I got 2 or 3 emails saying they were looking into it. Soon after that, I sent more emails to him but I got no reply.
My last attempt was to contact the job-manager and their job support line but after doing this, they deleted my passcode so I have no access into their system. I was NEVER discharged verbally or in writing, nor did it quit. Employers expect and demand honesty from their employees but where's the honesty in this. I was doing this for some extra income but I guess you take a chance when dealing with online companies.
This definitely has been a learning experience for me and other victims like myself. I came to the conclusion the pursue this because;
1. Its happened to people like myself too often.
2. Someone has to speak out against companies like this who feel they have no obligation with hard-working honest people.