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 on this picture for a much larger 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, readers, for your own safety. 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 and theScambaiter 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.
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 visit the internet for the first time every day. Many of the new visitors are elderly or have just retired and figure now is a good time to find out about this newfangled internet. These people 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 scam victims 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 most 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 my contact page 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 – Scamwarners Scam Victims United – Fraud 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 Scamwarners forum “Is this a Scam” is a good place to post a question you might have.
Further Reading And Viewing –
Avoid Fake Check Scams: Five Things You Should Know
Fake Check Scams
More About Job Scams – A Guest Post By Snoskred
About the 419 Scam
Scam Victims United
60 Minutes Australia – The Big Sting – story transcript of a now missing video story, well worth reading.
60 Minutes Australia – The Big Sting II – story transcript of another now missing video
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.
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. Comments are closed but you can contact me via email – or comment on one of the more recent scam related posts on this blog, which you can find under the Scams category, click here for the most recent scam posts..
* 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. ;)
Updated 27/02/2015 – to remove dead links and put in replacement links