Advanced Fee / Prepayment scam
Victim is asked to pay upfront fees for financial services which are never provided. Victims often send a succession of transactions for payment of various upfront fees. Common methods could include: credit card, grants, loans, inheritance, or investment.
Victim is led to believe that they are sending funds to assist a friend or loved one in urgent need. Victim sends the money with urgency as the victim’s natural concern for a loved one is exploited.
Victim responds to a job posting and is hired for the fictitious job and sent a fake check for job related expenses. Check amount exceeds the victim’s expenses and victim sends remaining funds back using a money transfer. The check bounces and the victim is responsible for the full amount.
Fake Check scam
Victims are often sent a check as a part of a scam and told to deposit the check and use the funds for employment expenses, internet purchases, mystery shopping, etc. The check is fake (counterfeit), and the victim is left responsible for any funds used from the check. Remember, funds from a check deposited into an account should not be used until the check officially clears which can take weeks.
This scam is a variation on the Emergency scam.
The victim is contacted by an individual pretending to be a grandchild in distress, or a person of authority such as a medical professional, law enforcement officer, or attorney.
The fraudster describes an urgent situation or emergency (bail, medical expenses, emergency travel funds) involving the grandchild that requires a money transfer to be sent immediately.
No emergency has occurred, and the victim who sent money to help their grandchild has lost their money.
Internet Purchase scam
Victims could be the buyer or a seller of items (e.g. pets, cars) or services advertised online through Craigslist, eBay, Alibaba, Gumtree, carsales.com, etc. Scammers pretending to be legitimate online sellers, either with a fake website or a fake ad on a genuine site advertising an item at a low price. They ask you to pay using a money order, pre-loaded money card or money transfer, after the money is sent, the victim never receives the merchandise or service. Scammers also pretend to be legitimate buyers by sending more than the selling price, and asks the seller to wire the difference back to them via a money transfer.
Lottery / Prize scam
Victim is told that they have won a lottery, prize or sweepstakes and that money must be sent to cover the taxes or fees on the winnings. The victim may receive a check for part of the winnings and once the check is deposited and money is sent, the check bounces.
Mystery Shopping scam
The fraudster contacts the victim through an employment website, or the victim responds to an ad about an employment opportunity to evaluate a money transfer service. The fraudster often sends the victim a check to deposit and instructs the victim to send a money transfer, keeping a portion of the check for their pay. The victim sends the money, the fraudster picks it up, and when the check bounces the victim is left responsible for the full amount.
The fraudster sends the victim a check that appears to be valid as payment for a service or product. Typically, the amount of the check exceeds what the victim expects to receive, and the fraudster tells the victim to send the excess back using a money transfer. When the check bounces, the victim is left responsible for the full amount.
Victim is led to believe that they have a personal relationship with someone they met online often by social media, in an online forum or on a dating website. The victim is often emotionally invested, often referring to the recipient as a fiancée.
Rental Property scam
Victim sends money for deposit on a rental property and never receives access to the rental property or the victim may also be the property owner who is sent a check from the renter and asked to send a portion of the check back using a money transfer and the check bounces.