(Picture courtesy of FakeChecks.org)
On September 7th, I did a post based off a story that circulated out of Nigeria about an International investigation that might lead to arrests, worldwide.
Apparently, it did and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is now giving more details, including some arrest statistics.
Please note that a lot of other agencies were involved in this, including the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the United Kingdom Serious Organized Crimes Agency.
From the press release:
The press release is launching a new awareness campaign, which includes a website run by the National Consumers League (NCL) to protect people from this billion dollar problem.
Investigators led by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service have arrested 77 people as part of a global fraud crackdown which has since January intercepted more than $2.1 billion in counterfeit checks bound for the United States.
The eight-month investigation involved schemes in Nigeria, the Netherlands, England and Canada, and has stopped more than half a million fake checks from being mailed to American victims.
At a press conference at the National Press Club, Postmaster General John Potter announced a consumer-awareness campaign to educate the American public. International scammers have found U.S. consumers easy prey and are increasingly targeting them, Potter said.
“All fake check scams have the same common pattern: Scammers contact victims online or through the mail and send them checks or money orders. They then ask that some portion of the money be wired back to them,” said Potter.
“The best thing our citizens can do to protect themselves is learn how to avoid these scams. The old adage still holds true: If someone offers you a deal that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Consumers can learn more and report fraudulent activity at the Alliance website, FakeChecks.org.
If consumers believe they have been defrauded by a scam, the Postal Inspection Service wants to hear from them. These crimes can be reported by calling 1-800-372-8347.
I've spent a little time taking a look at the site. The information on it is easy to understand, highly visual and is a definite asset in protecting the average person from becoming the victim of an Internet scam.
In fact, I liked it so much, I've put it on my links list.The entire press release, which contains a lot of helpful information, can be viewed, here.
I recently did a pretty detailed post on how to verify if these items coming in the mail are fake, here.