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  #1  
Old 12-09-2010, 10:50 AM
katsaturn katsaturn is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2
FedEx Priority Overnight Check Scam

I wanted to document this check scam... My roommate recently responded to a fraudulent job listing and sent them her resume (which included our address), but stopped responding immediately when they asked her for banking information, etc. A few days later, she got a check in the mail shipped FedEx Priority Overnight for somewhere around $2600. Obviously it's a bad check, but she asked me to research it for her, so here are the facts...

- The check was the only thing in the envelope, no instructions of any kind. Also, the emails from the scammers didn't mention anything about a check or what to do with it, they were just asking for bank info and such.
- The company on the check was a legitimate Texas company (Lone Star Overnight). The bank was real too (Frost Bank in Austin, Texas). The check was signed with the name George Stephens, a quick google search verified that he actually is the CFO of Lone Star Overnight. The signature doesn't look terribly convincing though.
- I called Frost Bank and verified that the account number was real and that there were indeed sufficient funds in the account to cover the check amount (!).
- The name on the return address was "Twyla Chionchio". Nothing came up in google when I searched for the name.
- The return address was a point in the middle of nowhere (28200 Pike 420, Middletown MO), and again nothing came up when I googled it. Perhaps this was randomly-generated, there are sites on the web that create realistic fake addresses. The return phone number was for a nearby company in Missouri.
- I looked up the FedEx tracking number, it showed that the package was sent from New York City.
- I finally called Lone Star Overnight, who confirmed that the check was fraudulent and that they weren't certain how their information was compromised.

I guess I'm just not sure how someone would make money off this - perhaps if she deposited it and it bounced, they could get her banking information somehow? The check itself was extremely realistic, right down to security features on the back, which led me to think that maybe someone actually stole real checks, trying to screw Lone Star Overnight? A theory further confirmed by the fact that the bank verified that there's money in the account, at least enough to cover this check. Also, the scammer would have had to do at least a little research to know to sign the CFO's actual name on the check.

Anyone have any thoughts? It all seemed pretty weird. :)


-Kat


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  #2  
Old 12-09-2010, 09:39 PM
Meri Widow's Avatar
Meri Widow Meri Widow is offline
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Posts: 2,252
Re: FedEx Priority Overnight Check Scam

100% scam.

There is no job.

There is only a scammer trying to steal your roommate's hard-earned money.

Since your roommate refused to send her banking details, he couldn't do the "fake deposit" scam on her so he is doing his "cash the fake check" scam on her instead. He has no interest in her banking details, only her cash. The only real job here is her paying back the bank for the bounced check fees and any cash she withdraws.

The fake deposit would have been from a hijacked paypal account, stolen credit card or spoofed bank account.

The next email will demand she cash the fake check and us Western Union or moneygram to send most of it to someone somewhere. That "someone" will just be the scammer.

Western Union and moneygram do not verify anything on the form the sender fills out, not the name, not the street address, not the country, not even the gender of the receiver, it all means absolutely nothing. The clerk will not bother to check ID and will simply hand off your cash to whomever walks in the door with the MTCN# and question/answer. Neither company will tell the sender who picked up the cash, at what store location or even in what country your money walked out the door. Neither company has any kind of refund policy, money sent is money gone forever.

Now that you have responded to a scammer, you are on his 'potential sucker' list, he will try again to separate you from your cash. He will send you more emails from his other free email addresses using another of his fake names with all kinds of stories of lottery winnings, millions in the bank and desperate, lonely, sexy singles. He will sell you email address to all his scamming buddies who will also send you dozens of fake emails all with the exact same goal, you sending them your cash via Western Union or moneygram.

You could post up the email address and the emails themselves that the scammer is using, it will help make your post more googlable for other suspicious potential victims to find when looking for information.

Do you know how to check the header of a received email? If not, then google for information and learn how. Being able to read the header to determine the geographic location an email originated from will help you weed out the most obvious scams and scammers. Then delete and block that scammer. Don't bother to tell him that you know he is a scammer, it isn't worth your effort. He has one job in life, convincing victims to send him their hard-earned cash.

As you know, whenever suspicious or just plain curious, google everything, website addresses, names used, companies mentioned, phone numbers given, all email addresses, even sentences from the emails as you might be unpleasantly surprised at what you find already posted online. You can also post/ask here and every scam-warner-anti-fraud-busting site you can find before taking a chance and losing money to a scammer.

5 "Rules to follow" to avoid most fake jobs:
1) Job asks to use your personal bank account and/or open a new one.
2) Job asks you to print/mail/cash a check or money order.
3) Job asks you to use Western Union or moneygram in any capacity.
4) Job asks you to accept packages and re-ship them on to anyone.
5) Job asks you to pay visas, immigration, travel fees, expenses in cash via Western Union or moneygram.

Avoiding all jobs that mention any of the above listed 'red flags' and you will miss nearly all fake jobs. Only scammers ask you to do any of the above. No. Exceptions. Ever. For any reason.
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2010, 06:14 AM
katsaturn katsaturn is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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Re: FedEx Priority Overnight Check Scam

Oh I know, I was quite aware it was a scam. The bit that was perplexing me was that there were no instructions to send money anywhere (she got the check several days ago, there haven't been any follow-up emails). But thanks for the detailed response. :)


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