Fake Check Scam March 27, 2007
Today’s the last day before school starts again. We definitely had a short spring break that more resembled a slightly longer weekend. In the afternoon, Ross, Pouria, and I went to Office Max to get some school supplies. On the way we stopped at Wells Fargo to get a suspicious cashiers check examined for Pouria.
Pouria had advertised his piano lessons online, and was contacted by a “potential customer” looking for “piano lessons for his son”.
Pouria agreed to teach the person’s son for three months for about 700-800 dollars. Today he received a cashiers check in the mail for 7500 dollars.
The people at wells fargo immediately said something was fishy, and that they personally wouldn’t cash the check.
When I was at home, I researched the topic of “cashier check scams”, and discovered that this was exactly the way cashier check scams work. Scammers find advertisements online for people selling things, especially cars. They agree immediately to the seller’s price, and send a cashiers check for significantly more than the price.
They ask the seller to cash the check, and send the difference to another source. Sometimes they ask the seller to send the extra money to a “friend of theirs”. Sometimes they say it was a mistake, and ask the seller to cash the check and send the difference back to them.
No matter which “reason” they give, many times sellers will cash the check and immediately wire the difference back to the “buyer” out of their own bank account.
A couple weeks later, the bank will inform the seller that the cashiers check turned out to be bad, and that the money wasn’t actually there.
The reason Ross and Pouria thought the check might be real is the fact that most people treat cashiers checks the same as they would treat cash, and don’t realize any potential risks or scams.
In the evening, Trevor called me up and notified me that the dudes were going to watch “Children of Men” at the slaughterhouse. Ross and I both agreed that it was a horrible movie, but most professional critics seem to genuinely love the movie, and praise it to death… I don’t understand why. It baffles me.