Who cashed third-party checks?

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Be sure of everything
is what it seems

The internet gives us more information than ever before. But the digital age also makes things easier for fraudsters. From spurious social media posts to phishing to get hold of bank account passwords, scammers have opened up a myriad of ways to get hold of other people's money. Fraudsters contact their victims in a variety of ways - by phone, post, email and online. They sneak your trust and then ask for money. Then they go away with it. The scenarios they simulate are constantly changing. However, you can protect yourself and your friends and family members by knowing the most common types of scams.


Advance fees / advance payments

The victim is asked to pay upfront fees for financial services that are never rendered. Victims often execute multiple transactions for multiple prepayment fees. Common procedures are: credit card, grants, loans, inheritance or investment.

Related to: tax trick, phone sales, residence status, donation fraud, social networks, fake checks, emergency trick, grandparent trick

Video: Advance Fees

Article: 4 Ways To Protect Against Fraud With Up-front Fees And Payments


Antivirus software scams

The victim is contacted by someone posing as an employee of a well-known computer or software company who claims that a virus was found on the victim's computer. The victim is informed that for a small fee that can be paid by credit card or money transfer, they can delete the virus and have their computer protected. In fact, the computer is not infected and the victim loses the money sent for protection.

In connection with: advance fees / prepayments, identity theft, phishing

Article: 5 Ways To Protect Against Tech Fraud




Employment trick

The victim replies to a job posting, is hired for a fictitious job and receives a forged check for business expenses. The amount of the check is greater than the victim's expenses, and the victim sends the excess back with a money transfer. The check is refused and the victim is liable for the full amount.

In connection with: test purchase, counterfeit checks

Video: Home Work

Article: 3 Employment Tricks and Tips to Protect Against Them



Fraudsters face death, imprisonment and other non-cooperation threats to illegally extort money, property or services from victims that they claim to owe.

In connection with: advance fees / prepayments, relationship trick, residence status, tax trick, emergency trick, virus protection, phishing


Counterfeit checks

In this type of fraud, victims often receive a check that they are asked to cash to pay for business expenses, internet purchases, test purchases, and so on. The check is bogus (counterfeit) and the victim is responsible for any expenses incurred on the check. Important Note: Never spend money on a check that you are cashing on an account before the funds are in the account - this can take several weeks.

In connection with: advance fees / prepayments, test purchase, employment trick, overpayment, internet purchase, lottery / contest, rental items

Video: Advance Fee (English)

Article: How to Avoid Counterfeit Checks Fraud


Grandparent trick

This is a variation on the emergency trick. The victim is contacted by someone posing as a grandchild in distress or a person of authority, e.g. B. as a doctor, law enforcement officer or lawyer. The fraudster reports that the grandchild is in dire straits (deposit, expenses for medical care, travel expenses in an emergency), to whom money must be sent immediately by transfer. There is no emergency, and the victim who wants to help the grandchild and sends money loses the sum.

In connection with: advance fees / advance payments, emergency trick

Video: Grandparents Trick (English)

Article: Don't Fall for the Grandparents' Trick - 6 Tips and Hints


Identity theft

Identity theft involves the fraudster using personal information (such as social security numbers, bank account information, or credit card numbers) to impersonate someone else. The fraudster can open an account, empty existing accounts, apply for tax refunds or receive medical services.

In connection with: Internet buying, phishing, SMS / smishing, social networks, advance fees / prepayments, residence status, tax trick, employment trick, virus protection, relationship trick


Immigration fraud

The victim is called by someone posing as an immigration officer claiming that there is a problem with the victim's residency status. Personal information and confidential details about the victim's residency status may be provided to make it more believable. Immediate payment by money transfer is required to resolve the residence status issues. Failure to do so may result in deportation or imprisonment.

In connection with: advance fees / advance payments, overpayment, emergency trick

Article: 6 Tips To Protect Yourself Against Immigration Fraud


Money flipping

New victims are reported on social media about a way to get a lot of money quickly: Allegedly, they can turn 100 EUR into 1,000 EUR by "money flipping". This is an old scam. The advertisement explains to investors that they can multiply a few hundred to thousands of euros through gaps in the monetary system. Often times, once the scammers have access to the money, they block the victim on social media or on the phone so that they can no longer contact them.

In connection with: social networks, advance fees / advance payments



Test purchase fraud

The fraudster contacts the victim through an internet job board, or the victim replies to an ad for a job that needs to be evaluated on a money transfer service. The fraudster often sends the victim a check to cash and instructs the victim to carry out a money transfer. A part of the check amount is supposed to be used for payment. The victim sends the money, the scammer collects it, and if the check is declined, the victim is liable for the full amount.

Related to: counterfeit checks, employment trick, advance fees / prepayments

Video: Advance Fees

Article: Why You Should Be Very Cautious About Trial Buy Offers



This is communication that is supposedly carried out by trustworthy companies such as B. comes from banks and is intended to induce the victim to divulge personal information or passwords. A “phish” is a fraudulent attempt to steal personal information or to install malicious code or software on your computer, usually in the form of an e-mail (however, there are also known cases of contact via telephone and text message).

Related to: Relationship Trick, Blackmail, Emergency Trick, Social Networking, SMS / Smishing

Article: Identifying the Signs of Phishing Scams


Social networks

If an internet fraudster can gain access to your social media accounts, he or she will also have access to your loved ones and close friends. Criminals and fraudsters can take advantage of the fact that you divulge personal information online and then use this information to target friends and family, often in connection with asking for money.

Related to: Phishing, Emergency Trick, Grandparent Trick, Military Trick, SMS / Smishing, Advance Fees / Prepayments, Relationship Trick, Identity Theft

Article: Protecting Yourself From Social Media Scams


SMS / smishing

Be very careful with text that suggests urgency asking you to click a link that will take you to a dangerous website or trick you into giving out personal information that could be used against you.

Related to: Identity Theft, Phishing, Virus Protection, Advance Fees / Payments, Lottery / Sweepstakes



Telephone sales

Telephone sales can take the form of virtually any business transaction in which sellers contact consumers by telephone to offer goods or services and request payment, such as by transferring cash or topping up a prepaid card. Often “free” or heavily discounted trips, magazines as “bargains” or prizes and raffles are offered.

In connection with: donation fraud, advance fees / prepayments, rental equipment, lottery / contest, internet purchase, identity theft


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