Scammers Using Fake Checks to Con Veterans
September 20, 2017
An old scam with new tentacles is currently reaching out to disabled veterans throughout the country. This scam has been around for quite some time, but it is making a comeback as it targets disabled veterans. The scam appears to be effective, in that, thousands of veterans have already fallen victim to this deceitful scam. The scam involves giving veterans fake checks to deposit in their bank accounts.
How The Scam Works
Veterans receive a letter in the mail informing them that as a disabled veteran, they have been selected to receive a “gift” ranging from $3000 - $5000. The letter mentions that only select veterans will receive checks, and the selection is based on the severity of their service-connected condition. After receiving the “gift” in the mail, the veteran must follow a precise set of instructions informing them to send a portion of the gift back to the contact person. According to the set of instructions, the money sent back verifies the veteran is Honorably discharged and that the veteran is service-connected with one or more disabilities, and that the veteran appreciates the gesture from the contact business. The veteran is informed that the difference of what they send back to the contact, and what the actual check is written out for is their money to keep.
For instance, if a veteran receives a check for $4500, and told to wire back $2000, the $2500 difference belongs to the veteran.
Typically, a FedEx or UPS envelope is included in the package. The veteran is instructed to deposit the check into his/her bank account and then locate a Western Union office and wire $2,000 dollars of the money from the check back to the contact.
Within days, the veterans bank will contact him/her to inform him/her that the check deposited is a fake.
Once the bank realizes the check is a fake, the bank will remove the money from the veterans bank account.
Remember, when you deposit a check, you are telling the bank the check is good. If the check turns out to be a fake, the bank seizes the money in your account and you are responsible for coming up with the cash to repay the bank.
Scammers Posing As Fraud Proction Agents
November 7, 2017
Now that the Holiday season is here, scammers are working non-stop to deceive you and steal from you. During this time of the year, scammers devise new scams to rip you off, or modify old scams to steal from you. Currently, a group of professional scammers have modified an old scam, and they are using their skill, experience and technology to target vulnerable veterans. The scammers are posing as your bank’s fraud protection department. The “fraud protection agents” are using Internet security sensitivities to ripoff thousands of veterans.
Unfortunately, it has been reported that the scammers are very good at convincing veterans they're from the veterans’ bank and easily persuade veterans to give them personal and/or banking information.
How The Scam Works
A veteran receives a telephone call from someone posing as a “Fraud Agent/Specialist” from his/her bank’s fraud prevention team. The scammer will explain to the veteran that someone or some organization has compromised the veterans’ bank account. The scammer will mention that only a few cents have been taken, and will be put back in the veterans account.
Speaking with alarming urgency, the scammer mentions they are not sure how the veterans’ account was compromised, but emphasizes to the veteran that he/she must move quickly to prevent the rest of their money from being taken. The scammer will encourage the veteran to transfer their money immediately to a “secure protective account.” The scammer mentions the transfer is short-term until the bank figures out what is going on.
Of course, the “secure protective account” is completely fraudulent. However, once the scammers have your bank account information, it is just a matter of minutes before your money is gone.
How to Protect Yourself
If you receive a telephone call such as mentioned above, veterans are strongly advised to never complete a transfer of their funds without first contacting the customer service department of their bank.
Don’t rely on your caller ID as a source of protection as the scammers have altered the information to make it look as if it is your bank. Also, to make their call seem legitimate, the scammers also use internet technology to disguise their area code. So, even though it may look like they’re calling from your city or nearby town, the scammers could actually be calling from anywhere in the world.
Also, if you get a text, call or email purportedly from your bank, don't click on any links and don't offer any information about your bank account. Instead, contact only bank channels you know to be legitimate.