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 I'm worried I'll end up in trouble with the police (UK)

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Talizman
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Posts: 2


PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:25 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I've been very very stupid.

I put an advert on a local website looking for part time work and a chap got in touch saying he could offer me work cashing his cheques in the UK (he was US based and would benefit from exchange rates if done this way - yes that's stupid but hear me out please) and I'd get 10% of the amount.

I thought it was a bit odd but he seemed quite articulate (I even spoken to him on the phone) so I thought it seemed to be worth a try.

A few weeks later a cheque for £4000 arrived from a legitimate UK company (I won't name them but they are genuine) which I put in to my bank.

Just before it was due to clear, the cheque bounced. When I got in touch with the bloke I had no reply and have heard nothing from him since. I then looked around online and found out exactly how stupid I'd been. Fortunately the cheque bounced so no money was wired.

Anyway this was a few weeks ago and today I went to the cashpoint today and my card was retained. I have to wait until tuesday to speak to my bank (I don't do phone banking).

What I'm worried about is whether or not I'm going to get in trouble with the police. When I realised how stupid I'd been I deleted some of the emails out of shame more than anything else.

Am I going to get in trouble with the police? I admit to total stupidity but at the time I thought it was an easy way to make £400.
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Newdonym
Elite Baiter


Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 1043


PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

(The usual, i'm not a lawyer disclaimer)

Hey, i'm glad to hear it bounced and you're not out of pocket. Please try to realise that these people are professional scammers and this one sounds better than most.

You've done nothing wrong. Neither you, the bank, nor the legitimate company have lost any money. I'm sure the bank just want to talk to you, it may even be about something unrelated.

Do you still have the emails? You may want to print them off and keep the copy safe.

In fact, the bank might be looking out for you. (you never know, it might happen) Knowing you got duped into cashing a fake cheque, they might assume you gave away bank/card details.
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Scam Patroller
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Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 11854
Location: UK


PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Talizman, welcome to the eater.

In fake cheque scams, banks freezing bank accounts is pretty common, there is a chance that your bank may want to involve the police, and you have probably not done yourself any favours by deleting emails, having said that, if the police did get involved and wanted to charge you with any offence, such as fraud, money laundering, passing fake cheques etc, they would almost certainly want to take your computer from you to gather forensic evidence.

Even though you have deleted the emails, everything you do on your computer is stored on your hard drive, and there will be copies of all emails you received and sent, which would go some way to backing up your story, but for now, nobody has lost out, you bank probably just want a quiet word with you about it, explain to them in detail what happened.

As you have found out, this sort of "representative scam" is very common, you can find more details about how money mules work on this page:

http://www.banksafeonline.org.uk/moneymule_explained.html

Let us know how you get on.

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SlapHappy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@Talizman - Welcome to eater. Don't feel too bad about getting duped by these guys. They are very slick and good at what they do. Like Newdonym said, the bank may be looking out for you here. Just tell the truth to them about it, and as no money was ever wired from any account, there is no real harm done to you or the bank financially. They probably disabled your card because when these scams happen, victims often give the criminals their real bank account information. They will want to inform you of what they have done to protect you, and may want you to change account information and issue new cards.
I had my own account flashed with a $2.00 charge by a "company" I did not do business with, and the bank security contacted me and issued me new cards. Apparently, they said the "company" guessed my number, after running pc programs to find valid cc numbers.

Scams can affect everybody. I'm glad you caught yours before sending the crooks their money.

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Zen
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I strongly advise you to visit your local police station and make a statement, because you were actually the intended victim of this scam. If money had been lost, it would have been yours - the bank would have held you accountable, and the law would have been on their side. be sure to take as much evidence as you still have - if you don't have the scammer's opening email, Google might help you find a copy.

I also recommend that you to talk to (preferably visit) your bank at the earliest opportunity. Although the company whose cheque you received may be genuine, the cheque could have been forged, stolen or recycled - in all these cases the bank and the police could, in theory, come to you asking questions. In other words, you unwittingly tried to pass a dud cheque. You need to convince the bank that you realise now that it was a scam, and that you'll be much more careful who you deal with in the future. In practice, they know that a lot of people fall for these frauds, and they will only go after (prosecute) people who they think conspired in the scam.

If you get any grief from the authorities, you're welcome to PM me (ie, send me a private message through this forum).

One more question - did you give bank account details to the scammer? It's usual practice for them to ask for such details, but normally it is simply a gullibility test for the intended victim (sadly, you passed). However, they can misuse bank account details in other creative ways, so check your statements carefully, and tell your bank what you did (assuming you did do it).

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Last edited by Zen on Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:47 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Newdonym
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I completely missed the bit about you deleting some of the emails. You may want to check if they are still in the bin. Clicking delete sometimes just moves them to a folder that empties itself every now and then. Get them back if possible.
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Doodle Bug
Master of Master Baiters


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
I have to wait until tuesday to speak to my bank


All banks have a fraud line you can contact out of hours ,may put your mind at rest over the holiday

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bill2
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

S#17 happens, no one here will blame you, now cleanup the best you can.
Check your email, also the sent ones, you might have replied with his email attached, check the garbage bin and try to recover them. Get your phone bill and check when you phoned him. Try to figure out how much Real Life info he has on you and write it down. Set up the whole event in a time line with as much facts as you can recover. Make a copy and head out to the local police and your bank to explain the mishap. (you're not the first and unfortunately not the last one)
If he has lots of RL info, check your credit.
Once it's all cleared up write a little story for the website scamwarners.com to show other people what and why it went wrong, so your experience can help others.
Now if you want revenge Wink you got to read a bit more here, get a mentor and start hunting them down. Be warned that it can be addicting and might consume more spare time than you can afford. But also know that there are a few thousand other members here that will help/advice you when needed. You're the one that got away, that should be a nice motivation Laughing
Play by the rules, play it safe and have FUN.

Edit. The police will see that you tried to cash a forged check, so will your bank, coming clean with them will solve that as no one lost any money over this, your story with facts will show them how you could come to this wrong conclusion and why you did what you did. Everybody gets suckered in to some kind of scam once or twice in his life, cleaning up is the hard part, but with no damage done it will be minor damage to your life if any.

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GomerPyle
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

One final thought Talizman, and it's probably a long shot. Do you have the envelope that the cheque came to you in ?

Most people throw everything away, but some keep every slip of paper. If you have it the police will be happy, as it may help them track down the counterfeiter.

Be honest and come clean over what happened as soon as you can and I don't see any major problem. Speaking to the banks Fraud Department is a good suggeston as they will be more likely to be aware of the prevalence of this type of scam and understand your situation, whereas a local or call centre person may be clueless.

The major point is - DON'T do nothing.

You probably can't bait this scammer yourself as he has your details, but if you give us his e-mail I'm sure others will suck him dry.

There's also a radio show each Sunday from 6.00 to 8.00 pm if you feel like sharing your story. It includes true life experiences of people and also live calls to scammers.

http://www.Blogtalkradio.com/ibc/2008/08/17/Scam-Baiters

If you share the scammer's number with Dan - you may get to hear your scammer get roasted on air publically.(He won't identify you).

Or just listen in - it's fun and free.

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The Man
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome to Eater. Sorry you had to find us in this way, but I am glad you did not lose any money.

I think this is a case if you explain it to your bank and the authorities you will be okay. Try to recover as much evidence of the fraud as you can. Depending on your e-mail service you might have things in the sent or deleted folder that can be recovered.

Let us know if there are further issues with the bank or the authorities and if we can offer advice.

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Talizman
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

OK thanks everyone.

The emails were through gmail and I used them from various internet cafes plus occasionally through my phone so I'm not sure if they can seize anything worthwhile.

Having checked in the 'bin' there are still a few emails from him which I will print off.

The guy actually phoned me and I think he was using VoIP going on the poor call quality and slight delay in his speech.

What I'm worried about is the police might see my 'lack of care' as suspicious, as if I had a willing part in the scam. I guess I'm pretty guillable going on what else I've seen on this site.
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Titania
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't think I'd use the word "gullible." Perhaps willing to believe in something that sounded perfectly legitimate. Gullible implies willing to believe anything.In times like this, when the economy has gone into the shredder, it's all too easy to believe what sounds like a good idea.

Education is the key, I believe. (Smile) If you feel the need to redeem yourself, take what you've learned and educate people so they don't fall for the same scam. You don't have to tell them your whole story, but let them see how it can seem so real. That way you can keep it from happening to someone else, and feel better about your own situation.

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Gnasher
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You are not the first (nor the last Crying or Very sad ) victim of a fake cheque scam and there's no need to be "ashamed". Some of these scammers are very slick and convincing. If you are as upfront and honest with the police/bank as you have been here they will see that you are a genuine victim and not a conspirator and if you proactively cooperate with giving them all the information they require I'm sure you will be OK. You may even be able to give them some vital clues about who and where the scammer is.

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eamonn
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Talizman wrote:
Am I going to get in trouble with the police? I admit to total stupidity but at the time I thought it was an easy way to make £400.

Very unlikely, you have been caught up in a scam. If you explain it to the bank they should understand and it's unlikely they will involve the police.

Stupidity isn't illegal, if it was we'd need a lot more prisons

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GomerPyle
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This is an old article but it puts the situation in perspective.

LONGLINKY

Many of the scammers are pretty dumb, though there are some slick operators that have turned scamming into a highly profitable business.

However, even the dumb scammers have learned what buttons to press and use the template formats from other, more sophisticated scammers.

They know that if they get their scam right - money will come pouring in, which is all the incentive they need.

Members here bait thousands, probably tens of thousands of scammers daily. I don't know if that's a measure of the problem, or a credit to the work done by members - probably both.

_________________
Fake sites killed 1 x Australia 9 x United Kingdom 3 x 168 X Closed lad accounts Easter Egg 2011
Pith Helmet - the 'Asparagus Kid' - Accra to Lome - You Must surly Die in The Name Of Jesus Christ
Pith Helmet - Steve - Lagos to Accra
Pith Helmet - Frank - Lagos to Cotonou - co-bait with the vampire
Pith Helmet - Shorty - Lagos to Cotonou - My Agro Base farming where i rearing chicken and other animals was set ablazed overnight and we do not know who is actual behinde all these evils! -
I and my crew was locked up for 3 good days….They wanted to charge us to court but later we are fined an huge amount of money…I asked them why did they arrest the men, they started laughing and saying all sorts mockering words! -
…because now, am left with nothing and remember i told you my Guy (Joe) gave up earlier this morning
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luckey
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't have much to add to what others have said, but I'm happy to join the chorus and hope it all works out in your favor.

The fact that you did not wire any money off is a stroke of luck. From what I've heard, the banks are most interested in getting the money back, so if you can cover it, you've got a leg up. Passing a bad check, even unwittingly, is a crime in most places, but this is such a common scam, your bank should not find it unusual if you contend that you believed you were involved in a legitimate transaction.

If you are forthcoming and cooperative, I would be very surprised if the bank takes a hard line with you. The key is to be aggressively proactive.

Some people deposit tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bad checks before the house of cards comes tumbling down. Victims who do not have the resources to cover the funds, and/or have a history of depositing bad checks, are in a very different position from yours. Good luck and I do hope you will let us know how it all turns out.

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bill2
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Just to finish it off with an example, http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=147103&highlight=
The cleaning up is important to keep your rating clean and to finish the episode, then if you wanna get even, we can help you Twisted Evil
Good luck and courage

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