Phony Check Scams
Canadian Lottery, Presidents Choice Financial, John Anderson or Natasha Jones
Have you received an email from Canadian Lottery, Presidents Choice Financial of saying "you won the lottery in Canada and here is a check for 4850.00 to help pay the taxes which are 2950.00. It's says you need to call the claim agent at 647-686-8723", and that they will send you a check to deposit;
just contact John Anderson or Natasha Jones?
It is an AFF / Money transfer Scam.
They'll send you counterfeit checks which you are supposed to deposit, take out
some percentage (typically, 10%) for your work, and then MoneyGram or Western
Union wire the remaining 90%. Notice that although you receive checks, they
won't let you forward a check to them, only Western Union or Money Gram. There's
a reason for this: Western Union and MoneyGrams are cashed immediately and are
untraceable and irretrievable. Bank checks can take 1 or 2 weeks to clear!
Of course, since the check is fake, it will bounce a week or so later after
you deposit it. But you have already moneygram'ed the scammers the 90% of
the amount, and that is transacted almost instantly. So you now owe the
bank for the full amount. You may also face criminal charges for passing
counterfeit checks. See
this page for a step-by-step explanation of how the scam unfolds.
Notice the passages in the actual scam email below.
They point out some of the additional clues that it is a scam, such as the email
comes from a free email account (such as Yahoo.com, Hotmail.com, Aim.com, Gmail,
cox.net, etc.). Wouldn't you expect a company to have its own website and
email address (after all, it only costs about $200/year; every reputable company
has its own website these days!) And don't be surprised if the scammers do put
the names of real companies, real websites and events in their scams; it doesn't
mean anything at all!
This was not an email scam, I actually received a check
in the mail. From all accounts this check is real, I called the bank it's
written from and verified the account number, it is a good account, the check
has watermarks and security features.
It's a real check Problem is the check is
forged, which may not be caught until the check has been cashed and spent by me.
Then I'm the one that has to pay.
Here's what I got A letter in the mail
claiming I won the lottery in Canada and here is a check for 4850.00 to help pay
the taxes which are 2950.00. It's says I need to call the claim agent @
647-686-8723 the claim agents name is John Anderson or Natasha Jones.
I did call
and they answered "Presidents Choice Financial" , which by the way is a real
finance company. I inquired about the check and John told me that I needed to go
cash the check immediately and once it cleared my account to call him back. I
told him I would.
Then I decided to call the sponsor that owns the check I
received and was told they had some checks stolen and copied and that the check
was real, but forged. Here's what I found out, I could actually cash this check
and it would clear my bank account, I could spend the money and it may be
months before I'm arrested for forgery.
Then I have to pay back all the money to
the bank. I am contacting the FBI, if it had been some elderly person or someone
that was really hard up for money. This just is not fair, something needs to be
done to stop people like this.
Quick Summary: What Can you Do?
You can check the name of the issuing bank on the check with the names of
banks that have reported stolen checks
and you can call the bank to
- verify that the account number on the check is legitimate and
- matches the name on the check and
- has sufficient funds.
You can go to this website and
verify the routing number on the check and get the bank's phone number, then
call the bank to verify that the account is real and the check is real.
If you believe you may have fallen victim to this type of scam and wish to
report it, please file a complaint
with the U.S. government
Internet Fraud Complaints
Here is a
summary of this type of fraud, from the United States Postal Service