Check fraud is the "in" crime" among thieves. So far this week I've heard from two folks who were both Fed Ex'd big dollar checks which turned out to be fakes.
In one of the cases... the potential victim was given proof that the transaction was 100 percent legal.
He was emailed a photograph of the Interpol Director of Special Investigations. He was told the director was watching over his transactions.
Greg Cunningham who received the email says, "A little investigation on the internet this morning shows that Interpol does not have an office of Special Investigations."
Cunningham, who's looking for a job was told he had been hired as Finance Coordinator.
His new employer... a stranger in England who owned a textile company and needed U.S. checks cashed and the funds wired overseas.
He was overnighted 38-hundred dollars in money orders, told to take them to his bank, keep 10 percent, and wire the rest to Malaysia.
Cunningham adds, "They are very official looking... very good looking documents."
It wasn't a job, but the sale of this Chrissy doll that put a 24-hundred-50 dollar check in the hands of Marlene Coyne.
She listed the 30 year old collectable on Craigslist and immediately heard from a seller whose secretary made a "terrible mistake"... Fed Ex'ing 23-hundred-75 dollars too much. She was asked to immediately wire back money, but keep an extra hundred bucks for her trouble.
Marlene says, "It just makes me very angry you know... to think that there's people out there to scam us. I mean all we're doing is advertising an article on Craigslist."
Marlene and Greg both knew better than to fall for the trap, but others don't.
In 2007 the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center showed this kind of online fraud was up 20 percent over 2006... with a reported loss of close to 240-million dollars.
Just be aware the stories may change, but the bottom line doesn't. The crooks will always ask you to wire funds overseas. Don't do it.