Snoskred made 5 MILLION DOLLARS online this year!

This article is a must read, not because I’m going to tell you how you can make your OWN 5 million online but because I have some very important information for you.

What I want to talk to you about is how NOT to make money online.

I currently have 5 million dollars worth of fake checks in my possession.

In some countries these are called bank drafts, or cheques*. Truly, I do have them. I’ll give you a link to take a look at them a little further down the page and there’s some photos here in this article too. They came to me from scammers on the internet, who I scam baited – that means I pretended to be a real victim.

I don’t suggest you do the same thing but I do suggest you read this article and please help me to get the word out there on the internet about this scam and other scams. Below I talk about some of the ways you can help.

Something you may not know about checks -

When banks say a check has “cleared” they simply mean the funds are available to you.

The funds being made available is no guarantee of the check being good.

A check can bounce up to a *year* after you bank it.


Seriously! The funds are available to you because in many countries (e.g. the USA, Australia and others) the funds have to be made available by law, however if it turns out to be counterfeit or stolen or the issuer does not have sufficient funds in their account the bank will quickly make the funds UNavailable to you. If you have spent the funds, they will put you into the minus – and charge you for that as well, usually. If you did bank a fake or stolen check at first it would seem to clear, the funds would be there for you to withdraw and spend.

Don’t trust that teller -

You might even ask the teller – has this check cleared, and you would usually be told YES – absolutely it has. Just like most victims this happens to. They do not get training in this area. In fact most people who work in banks don’t know how checks really work. The scammers DO know how checks work and they make full use of this lack of education.

How you get the fake check -

- A scammer might email you with a work at home job offer like a payment officer, a company representative or book keeper.
- You may apply for a job you have seen advertised.
- You may be selling something online (possibly via Ebay or Craigslist or Etsy but these scammers will try anywhere you can sell things).
- You might be a breeder of dogs, cats, any animal – they will pretend to want to buy one of the animals.
- You might have a rental house or holiday home and they pretend they want to rent it from you.
- There’s thousands of other possible scenarios but essentially it boils down to someone you don’t know wanting to pay you.
- They don’t just use checks either – they may offer money orders or travellers checks.
- Often they will send a check for more than the item you are selling is worth, and they want you to send the balance back to them. They will use many excuses for doing this.
- They may send you a check and once it has cleared they will no longer want the item – someone in their family will be ill or die and they need the money back urgently
- They will usually want you to send the money by Western Union, Moneygram or deposited into a bank account they give you.

When you send the money -

So the check has cleared, and you figure everything is fine if the bank says the check has cleared. Some victims have even asked to have it in writing, because they were so sure the check would *not* clear. Victims have been given confirmation in writing only to find having something in writing from the bank won’t help when things go wrong.

Within days, weeks, months, up to a year later the bank will find it was counterfeit or stolen and they will take the money back and hold YOU responsible. In the US, you could actually be arrested for check fraud. Many scam victims have been – an example and a good article here.

About my checks -

The Nigerian 419 scammers have been very helpful to me because they have sent me an awful lot of fakes – fake checks – cheques – bank drafts – money orders – travellers checks. Some good, some terrible. When I started out trying to collect a few fake checks I thought it would be cool to hang them on a wall, sort of like a gallery of fraudulent instruments. And so I did.. I now have so many I would need to actually devote a room full of walls to it. These are in addition to the ones hung on my wall already. I laminate them so they’ll stay in good condition. Here’s a bit of a closer look at the 16 new fraudulent instruments from scammers I just laminated today. Click any of the pictures for a bigger view. You’ll note there is a lot of pink painting done on these checks – that is because scammers only need a few vital details in order to counterfeit a check. These are generally your name and your bank account information. When that information is present on a real-looking check, the bank will always pay it! The scammers don’t need to steal checks, they just print them out.

NEVER give out your bank details online.

Many companies have their details available on the net in case you want to make a payment to them – and scammers take full advantage of that. They make checks with the details of those companies and often these checks take the longest to bounce – it isn’t until the accountant spots the transactions later that the bank will find out the checks were not written by the company. That is why most of these checks have company names on them. I always contact the companies whose names appear on the checks to let them know what is going on.

How Snoskred baits check scammers -

- I use a safe post office box which cannot be traced back to me – do not try this at home, kids. These guys are criminals. Giving them your home address to send fake checks to is not a good idea.
- I use a special tool to bait the scammers. This involves minimum effort on my part. The tool does all the baiting for me. All I have to do is click my mouse once, and then checks come to me as a surprise in the mail. The tool takes care of all communication with the scammer, writes the emails, sends them, and it is truly amazing.
- If you want to try baiting scammers, websites like 419eater, theScambaiter and Scambaits have mentor programs which can get you baiting safely. Please don’t try it without knowing how to stay safe. Nobody wants a scammer turning up on their doorstep.

You can see all my fake checks up close and personal here – Snoskred’s Fake Checks from Scammers.

Just one other note..

about assuming scam victims must be stupid.. ;) Don’t assume, it makes an ass out of you and me, as the old saying goes.

Thousands of new people join the internet every day. Many of them are elderly and have their entire life savings just waiting to send to a scammer who gets in and hooks them before they know it is a scam. Many are stay at home moms who are looking for a bit of extra income. Many are new to computers. Just because YOU are aware of these scams does not automatically mean everyone else is.

People fall for these scams constantly and it has nothing to do with intelligence or greed or any other things like that. They simply have not been educated that these are scams. The scammers are always thinking up new scams, so never think YOU are safe from being scammed – they might try something on you that you haven’t heard of yet. This happens to experienced internet users daily. Nobody is 100% immune – don’t fool yourself into being fooled by a scammer.

You have to realize these scammers work full time on these scams – this is what they do for a living and they know how to get money out of people. There’s another problem in that people associate Nigeria with these scams – and the scammers know this, so they pretend they are elsewhere in the world. So some people who know about NIGERIAN scams think – this has nothing to do with Nigeria, this person is in the UK, US, Europe, Australia, it must be ok.

Many scammers use FREE services like this to get a UK telephone number which redirects to their Nigerian mobile phone. So a victim calls a UK number to speak to them – never knowing their call is redirected to Nigeria. These free services are available for other countries too.

The scammers are criminals, and the victims are victims of a crime – and they are unlikely to report it because people will think they are stupid. This means our law enforcement people cannot get an accurate picture of how big a problem this is.

Make sure you tell your friends and family about these scams – if you assume they know, you might find out you are wrong. If it happens to someone you love, you’ll realize I am right, it’s not about intelligence. It’s about lack of education – and YOU have the power to educate them.

How YOU can help!

- Mention today’s blog post on YOUR blog so all the readers of your blog can be educated on this important topic. Feel free to link to this post.
- Link to this article in my internet safety series which speaks about these scams.
- Ask me via email to guest post on your blog on the topic of scams to help educate your readers.
- If you know anyone who has any questions about these scams I am only an email away. However there are some great websites on the internet that try to help as well – Fraudwatchers Scam Victims UnitedFraud Aid -
- Let the readers of your blog know about the Scam-O-Matic – a web form which can look at an email and tell you if the email looks like a known scam. Is this email a scam? Ask the Scam-O-Matic -
- Stumble this blog post with Stumbleupon, if you are a member.
- Email a link to today’s blog post to your friends and family.
- Now you know about this scam – there are so many others out there. Always ask if you’re not sure. The Fraudwatchers forum “Is this a Scam” is a good place to post a question you might have.

Further Reading And Viewing -

More About Job Scams – A Guest Post By Snoskred
About the 419 Scam
The Fraudwatchers Forums – Scam Related Articles
Scam Victims United
Gullibility can make you a millionaire – Herald Sun
The Big Sting (video) – 60 Minutes Australia – story transcript of the video (this video is truly incredible, well worth watching as the team go arresting scammers in Nigeria – something that rarely happens due to police corruption)
Another Big Sting style video – 60 Minutes Australia – story transcript of the video
Common Scams on Ebay – a guide
United Kingdom – Metropolitan Police Fraud Alert.

For those in the USA -

Consumer group warns of growing check scam.

Please note this quote in the above article by the executive vice-president of the American Banking Association: “Federal law requires banks to make the funds you deposit available quickly, but it’s important for consumers to know that just because you can withdraw the money doesn’t mean the check is good,” said Edward Yingling, executive vice president for ABA.”

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Please leave a comment if you had never heard of these scams before, if you or someone you know has been scammed, or if you have any thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear from you. You can also email me.

* I apologise for using the word check though here in Australia we call them cheques, I’m so used to emailing US scam victims on this topic and they don’t know what “cheques” are usually. ;)

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44 comments:

  1. Emily, 22. July 2007, 6:10

    Thanks for posting all this.

     
  2. Forest Parks, 22. July 2007, 7:41

    Bloody hell, you have been working hard!!!

     
  3. Dexter, 22. July 2007, 13:48

    It was a very long post.. but worth to read..

     
  4. Lavender, 22. July 2007, 16:31

    You must have some brass ones! Wow, thats alot of bad cheques, and alot of scammers. I dont know how people who are smart enough to pull off this kind of stuff, dont just go out and do something decent – badly said, but Im sure you get my point.
    Outrageous stuff Snoskred!

     
  5. River, 22. July 2007, 19:36

    Is there some sort of link so that I can email this article to my kids? I know they are all aware of internet fraud etc. but I still think they should read this.

     
  6. Snoskred, 22. July 2007, 19:53

    Emily – Thanks for the comment! ;)

    Forest – It is estimated that check scammers pay between 3-10% of the face value of these checks to the scammer who makes them. ;) Therefore check baiting costs the lads money and it’s worth every cent. Plus, they often send these by UPS or other courier services for which they have to pay the shipping up front. Again costing them money. And they get a telephone number from me which allows them to call my skype phone – and that costs them money too.. ;)

    Dexter – Thanks! ;) I know it was long, but I tried not to make it too boring. ;)

    Lavender – Typically these scammers feel that the western world owes them money. They don’t care where we’re from, what color we are, what kind of financial situation we’re in, they just want the money to buy their next BMW. And they often get it. :( I can only put a little dent in their activities personally but if we all chip in and make sure everyone we know is aware of these scams, they have much less chance of making money from those educated people. ;)

    River – Absolutely – you see the little envelope at the bottom of the post? Just click on that and blogger will tell you how to email it to someone. ;)

    Thanks for the comments everyone! ;) and thanks for taking the time to read what was a long article. ;)

     
  7. Colin Campbell, 22. July 2007, 21:37

    Excellent work. I am amazed by all the different pitches I receive. Once they have your email, there are offers from all over the globe.

    I have linked on my blog.

     
  8. mutleythedog, 23. July 2007, 4:32

    How extraordinary I have done some work on get rich quick schemes but nothing like you…

     
  9. Anonymous, 23. July 2007, 10:24

    Great work! Thanks for your perseverance. BTW, don’t spend your 5 million all on candy.

    Here’s a link to a great story about sticking it to the scammers….

    http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/

     
  10. Kent, 23. July 2007, 11:44

    I was an active member on 419 Eater for a while. I had a few lads running around a bit for me: got some long applications and photos, but I’ve never received any checks. Thanks for the info.. I’ll check out ScamBaits.

     
  11. Thomas, 23. July 2007, 14:59

    You have really done your homework. Good thorough post.

    I have not watched scambaiting or 419 sites for a while, so it is interesting to see what is currently going on.

     
  12. Snoskred, 23. July 2007, 15:12

    Colin – Thanks for doing that – the more people who are educated on this, the less people will be scammed. ;)

    mutleythedog – It certainly is an odd way of “making money” but of course there’s no profit in it for me like some of the other get rich quick schemes out there.. ;) I’d probably run an excellent scam myself, but of course I could never do that to people.

    Anonymous – I do know a great candy shop, but I think even I would be hard pressed to spend 5 million in it. ;) hehe I know of the powerbook bait, that was an excellent one.

    Kent – I was also a member there once. ;) Scambaits is a bit quieter.. I suggest you check out their baiting tool because it ROCKS seriously. :)

    Thomas – the assassination scams, and the new one where they log into peoples email accounts after phishing their passwords and send mails begging for money to friends and family are the most recent inventions. However the scammers are turning to *blogs* and *blog communities* in order to scam now. Bumpzee has already seen a few, and I got my first one on MyBlogLog just yesterday. :(

    Thanks for the comments everyone – if you managed to read this far and you’re a stumbler, please stumble this page to help get the word out. ;)

     
  13. Zawadi, 23. July 2007, 19:14

    congrats on the 5 Million!
    These scammers will also use chartrooms like yahoo. One tried his luck with me a few years back lol lol. I played along for a few days because It was fun, but in the beginning I believed.

     
  14. Mary-LUE, 25. July 2007, 1:31

    I read this through my Google reader when you first posted it and didn’t get around to commenting then. (That Google reader convenience is making a bad commenter out of me!)

    I just had a friend tell me about three people she knows who were scammed in this way. The fake cashier’s check “accidently” sent for more than the amount. The part I didn’t know was how long it could take for the bank to find out the check wasn’t good. Ouch!

    I will definitely pass this post along.

     
  15. Snoskred, 25. July 2007, 2:53

    Zawadi – that’s exactly how most people end up getting scammed – in the beginning they believe and by the time they don’t they have invested too much to just walk away. ;( I’m glad you got out before that happened.

    Mary-LUE – most people are unaware of that, including bank tellers and even bank managers on many occasions.

    I really hope the message can get out there via the blog world because the media aren’t very interested. :(

    Thanks!

    Snoskred
    http://www.snoskred.org/

     
  16. E Akino, 25. July 2007, 18:30

    thanks for this information…now i know what to look out once i pursue my online business in the future.

    cheers

     
  17. Marenda.Biz, 5. August 2007, 2:26

    great post these scammers are always sending emails looking for who ever they can get. Thanks for exposing this scam you are helping people avoid being victimized kudos :)

    Best wishes always,
    Marenda

     
  18. Brown Baron, 9. August 2007, 16:01

    Haha now that’s a collection! Great article as always.

     
  19. Aaron Cook, 13. August 2007, 7:41

    Excellent work. Quite the colorful collection!

    Shine on,
    Aaron

     
  20. jude8753, 14. August 2007, 7:01

    Thank-you for leaving a comment about these checks and your links to them on my blog. I am sure many people will be interested in reading this. Unbelievable!

     
  21. Lynne, 21. August 2007, 7:50

    This is a terrific post, full of very pertinent information. I can only hope that those people who need this information the most (like the elderly) will get to read what you’ve written. Very well done!

     
  22. Julie, 31. August 2007, 3:47

    Wow, congratulations on making five million! I am totally enthralled with this whole scam/scambaiting thing. Very interesting.

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. : )

     
  23. Babyamore (Trish), 13. October 2007, 22:18

    wow – what a collection. Very interesting.I heard of scam baiting where you get them to send you money but I thought it was a scam on scammers and some people actually banked and kept real money.

    My Sister works for Fraud department in ‘Which’ Bank … she opened my eyes to so many scams . I never knew that about cheques/checks.
    I will put it on my blog on day soon.

    I have received dozens of emails from ‘Nigeria’ and other related scams but not as you described.Thanks for sharing.

     
  24. John Hacking, 16. October 2007, 21:08

    Probably one of the best blog posts I’ve read all year. Very useful, very informative, very well written – champagne blogging !

     
  25. My All RRJ Edition » Site Review (Pingback), 25. October 2007, 15:46
     

    [...] not complaining. The postings are interesting and informative. I even learned something about scambaiting. It’s a new word for [...]

     
  26. fakechecks.org - A Must-See Site | Sephy's Platzish (Pingback), 26. October 2007, 6:13
     

    [...] in June – How to NOT Make Money on the Internet, along with Snoskred’s post from July – Snoskred made 5 MILLION DOLLARS online this year! Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and [...]

     
  27.  

    [...] Snoskred made 5 MILLION DOLLARS online this year! [...]

     
  28. Musings & Meanderings » Blog Archive » Anonymous Hero (Pingback), 31. October 2007, 12:09
     

    [...] can read more about Snoskred’s scambaiting activities here Snoskred and Sephy’s new site Scam [...]

     
  29. davidb(new comment), 14. November 2007, 0:49

    My wife was looking for employment.

    We believe one of these scammers tricked us into sending him a resume by posting a fake advertisement in our regional Craigslist.

    The scammer’s fake check came in a hand addressed envelope with Canadian postage and a Canadian postmark. The check was accompanied with a cover letter printed on SurveyLot letterhead.

    The check was also dated six months in the past.

    The next day, a second check arrived in the mail from the same scammer. This check appeared to also be mailed from Canada and included a cover letter apologizing for the error in the date of the previous check.

    Do you think the checks I received actually came through the Canadian postal service? If not, do you have any ideas on how the scammer acquired a Canadian post mark?

    Thanks

    David

     
  30. This Could Be A Problem. | Snoskred - Life in the Country (Pingback), 27. November 2007, 23:01
     

    [...] As many of you know I am a scambaiter. I bait the Nigerian 419 scammers who try to steal money from people. One of the things I collect is fake checks. There’s more info on what I do and how I do it in this post – Snoskred Made 5 Million Dollars Online This Year. [...]

     
  31. Angeleyes, 3. December 2007, 18:56

    Wow! I’m impressed with your collection!
    Thanks for the info and now I know how these stuff look like!
    I’ve been hearing about such scams way too often over here and was surprised how people can get duped so easily.

     
  32. Can Scammers Bite You Twice? | I've Tried That (Pingback), 30. December 2007, 7:12
     

    [...] turned to the real expert for answers to this question: Snoskred, who knows all there is to know about fake check scams. We’ve invited her to respond in the [...]

     
  33. Jenny, 13. February 2008, 18:15

    This is a fantastic post and I am going to post it my blog also.
    I found you via Entrecard.

    You have a fabulous blog here.

     
  34. Geek Mother, 21. February 2008, 7:37

    Your article title was too good not to click on…. Now I know why, you have been studying the copywriting skills of the Internets finest! I am now getting Russian and Chinese letters, funny how all the Worlds millionaires are all dying or getting sick at the same time.

    Do you getmuch follow up from these guys after you break off communication? Who kept up the correspondence the longest? Is there a world record for stringing along an excited Nigerian….. Oooo oooo I think I’ve got a bite Boss!

     
  35.  

    [...] Snoskred suggests that it can take an awful long time for checks to clear, and that they can take up to a year to bounce.  As always a low threshold for calling any offer [...]

     
  36.  

    [...] avoid checks or wire transfers unless you are dealing with a trusted repeat customer. According to a post I read the other day, waiting until a check has “cleared” will not protect you from being [...]

     
  37. Ann, 27. March 2008, 6:59

    It is amazing what the scammers get up to. There are also love scams where many of these Nigerian and Ghanaian mostly men, join the dating sites and ‘lall in fove’. They are usually ‘businessmen’ who live in the US or UK and are travelling t Africa. Once there, they are mugged or some other tragedy and cannot pay the hotel bill or doctor’s fee because the country does not accept credit cards. So they trick their love in the UK, US, Australia or anywhere in Western Europe into sending money to them via Western Union. So many are tricked into this and as the owner of this blog said, they do not tell people who know them personally because they think people will call them stupid. Pass that along too. BEWARE of internet love scams.

     
  38. I was scammed by Surveylot.com | I've Tried That (Pingback), 19. April 2008, 3:53
     

    [...] of fake checks, check out Snoskred’s story. He made $5 million this year! (All fake checks, though. Maybe he uses it to pay rent on a fake [...]

     
  39. Colleen, 29. April 2008, 1:56

    This was very educational. I thought most scammers did you right up front, I had no idea they actually issue cheques that actually “clear” and then oops they bounce after.

     
  40. Jewels Blacksmith, 2. May 2008, 1:39

    That is so impressive that I honestly think you need to make some sort of “exhibit” of all these to be displayed in public. when People see your “collection” it really looks shocking and the message hits home.

     
  41. Kevin, 30. March 2009, 16:35

    Thank you, Snoskred. I thought I was pretty savvy, and thought that if a check “cleared,” it was good. I haven’t been scammed, but I was going to sell some things on Craigslist and would have taken a check and shipped the stuff once it cleared. Now I know better. And thank you for doing what you can to catch these people. Here in the US, there is so much violent crime and drug-related crime that gets police/prosecutorial priority, I doubt that many people are prosecuted for this and it’s a safe way to make a dishonest living.

     
  42. Quetzalcoatl, 26. April 2009, 3:31

    WooHoo, I’m glad I finally got around to reading this!

    I’ve just had a job offer scam involving a Money Transfer, the scammer being ‘out of town’, involving landlords giving me a key, paying said landlord and subtracting fee from amount…yada, yada. From Craigslist, no less.

    I did smell a rat and not only used a fake name and email throughout the emails, but wanted their particulars ‘in order to write up an agreement’. I also wanted payment in the form of a Money Order or Money Gram from the post office. I thought That was as good as cash… one has to pay in cash for those from the post office, am I wrong in assuming that?

    Haven’t heard from them since…

    Seemed innocuous enough when they asked for particulars from me that one could find in a phone book, frankly. Scary!

    I still may have then on the hook… to nab ‘em and earn my first Money Transfer trophy!

    I’ve emailed you the particulars, Snoskred…. looking for ‘sting’ instructions. :)

     
  43. Quetzalcoatl, 26. April 2009, 4:28

    I just sent their letter to my city’s police fraud squad. We’ll see what they suggest…..

    Here’s that scamming letter FYI:

    Thanks for the Interest,I believe and understand you are a very intelligent and experienced painter.

    This is the Description of my new House you will be painting below:

    (LARGE CLEAN 1 BEDROOM CONDO)

    I”m Willing to pay you $500 for painting this room,i think this is a reasonable price since you already have the description of the house am painting,you will be provided with the date and time by my new landlord,as soon as I’m done making payments to you for the painting,he will be taking you to my new house in person immediately i contact him that i have finally paid for the Painting services.

    I want the painting to be done before i get back to the state by end of this month or early next month,I already made an arrangements for the payment and also the keys to the apartment,my landlord will be showing you the apartment so the location shouldn’t be a problem ,he will be there to help you in all you need to do the painting,i will instruct my client to issue and mail out the payment he owes me so you can deduct the $500 which i believe is a reasonable amount for painting my new apartment listed within the area,have the remaining funds wired to the landlord of the new apartment via western union Money Transfer so he can bring down the keys to you and he would be available when you are painting and again i will like to inform you that i will be providing the painting materials,so the remaining funds you will be sending to my new landlord is the balance payment for my new apartment,im only doing this cause i am presently out of the state for a seminar and which am of the facilitator,and i want things to go smooth and perfect before my return.

    If you think you can handle this painting ,kindly get back to me with the
    following information:

    (1) Full Name
    (2) Mailing Address, no p.o.box please
    (3) City,State.Zip code
    (4) Your direct telephone number / Mobile Number
    (5) Acceptance of my offer

    Hope to hear from you sooner.

    Regards.
    Nicholas

    NOTE: Don’t forget to get back with the required information so the
    payment can be mailed out to you immediately,you will be deducting
    just $500 and the charges for the Western Union or Money Gram
    Transfer,after when you have check cashed.

    nicholasamantea AT yahoo DOT com

     
  44.  

    [...] Snoskred made 5 MILLION DOLLARS online this year! [...]