back to article Police cuff 77 in fake cheque crackdown

More than $2.1bn in counterfeit cheques destined for the US have been seized and 77 arrests made in Netherlands, Nigeria and Canada as part of an international crackdown on cheque fraud scams. News of the busts came at a US conference on Wednesday launching an initiative - dubbed the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness - …

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Blame the victims.

Why not throw some of the blame back at the suckers who fall for this sort of scam in the first place.

The old saying "You can't con an honest man" comes into play here.

It is pure and simple greed.

If the police started arresting members of the public for attempted fraud, I'm sure reported cases would soon diminish.

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learn how to spot and avoid fake cheque scams.

Duh!

If the spam "says help me do something with money that doesn't belong to either of us" that's the big red sign that says don't do this!

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$2.1bn?

How exactly did they come up with that ridiculous figure? I've just written a counterfeit cheque for six bazillion fizzillion pounds, is that newsworthy too?

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Simple way to avoid being scammed

To make sure nobody else gets scammed, everyone should give all their money to me. I can absolutely guarantee that none of it will end up in the hands of any scammers whatsoever :)

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Re: Blame the victims

@ Richard Austin

I completely agree.

If people are so greedy that they fall for something like this it should completely be their problem. I hope the Gov't isn't providing any funds back to these people (unless recovered from the perp's).

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Rob

@Blame the victims

Surely it's possible to be greedy and honest?

-stupid is something else again..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blame the victims

Richard Austin & Thorin - you obviously don't understand the extent of this problem. This isn't just fake lottery, overthrown govt official money, etc. Here's an example from my city just this week - a woman was running a child day-care service in her home. A man contacts her as a prospective client, supposedly relocating to the USA for work. He sends her a check as a deposit to reserve a spot for his children. Oh, by the way, the check was for all of his relocation expenses, and can she wire back the remainder. She did, and now she owes her bank that money. Was she being greedy? No. She did what many people in the US would do, trust that her bank wouldn't make funds available to her on a bad check. But under the US system the bank must make the funds available within a few days, but it may take weeks for them to discover that the check was bogus. Visit the fakechecks.org site linked in the article, watch the videos. These are honest, intelligent people losing thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars (according to one of the victim interview videos on the site).

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Conning honest men

"You can't con an honest man"

Bah.

I don't happen to have the books with me, so I can't confirm this for certain, but I believe it was Terry Pratchet who wrote something like:

'There's an old saying "You can't con an honest man," which is often repeated by men who make a living conning honest men.'

I'll grant you that if these people are honest, they are in a category of stupid usually reserved for Darwin Award winners, and as such present such a credit risk that no bank in their right mind should allow them to open a checking account. This still doesn't render you statement valid, however.

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Anonymous Coward

Still stupidity to blame.

" Oh, by the way, the check was for all of his relocation expenses, and can she wire back the remainder. "

How stupid do you have to be to not smell a rat there? "I owe you a fiver, oh by the way here's all the money I have in the world, can you please give me back the other 999,995?" Why on earth would anyone overpay by cheque? Have they sprained their writing hand and it somehow isn't able to write small numbers any more? Why doesn't he put it in his own bank and then just send the amount owing? Why is he expecting ME, who is not a bank, to effectively provide the services of a bank by cashing a cheque for him?

If you can't figure out that you ought to be asking yourself questions like that, you are too dumb to be allowed to cross the road on your own.

"These are honest, intelligent people"

No. Honest yes, but intelligent? Absolutely not. Being able to see the blindingly obvious is really a basic, entry-level requirement for being able to consider someone intelligent.

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@Ian Ferguson

"How exactly did they come up with that ridiculous figure? I've just written a counterfeit cheque for six bazillion fizzillion pounds, is that newsworthy too?"

Would you please read the damn article before posting?!?

"More than $2.1bn in counterfeit cheques..."

"counterfeit cheques..."

"cheques..."

Plural. MORE THAN ONE. Now, combine that with this line:

"Victims of fake cheque scams are losing an average of $3,000 to $4,000."

And this line:

"Many potential victims are unaware that they are liable for losses if the cheques they deposit prove to be hooky."

Lines 2 & 3 imply that the victim is liable for the entire amount, and that since the average amount per victim is $3,000 to $4,000, each check averages between $3,000 and $4,000.

Combine the above with the item of PLURALITY noted earlier, and we discover that if these checks were of average size, then there must have been no fewer than 525,000 fake checks involved. So yes, I would say that is far greater news than your one "counterfeit cheque for six bazillion fizzillion pounds."

Thank you all. I'm off my box, in the taxi, grumbling at annoyed cabbie.

-daniel

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@Anonymous Vulture

> A man contacts her as a prospective client, supposedly relocating to the USA for work.

So presumably she'd do the same thing if a *total stranger* met her in the street and span the same story? Of course not.

Some users just shouldn't be trusted to use e-mail. Too much of the 'well, it's on the computer so it must be Ok' -syndrome.

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Paris Hilton

re: Blame the victims.

And no doubt you think women in short skirts late at night have only themselves to blame too....

If you read up about these type of scams (try the chapter in the last book by the Observers' crime editor), you'll see that they don't come in all 'one-size fits all' category...no matter how many people you care to tar with the same brush.

Oh, yes you can con a honest man - you've just got to be able to manipulate his greed. Why it's best to con someone that is wiling to do something dishonest, is once they realise they've been ripped off they're probably not going to report you, as they would have to confess to their own illegal activity.

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