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Friday, November 14, 2008


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Chris Buechler

The fact that people still fall for online fraud is astounding. Greed throws common sense out the window apparently. From advance fee fraud like the one mentioned, to "work from home opportunities" that either amount to assistance in money laundering, or the receiving of counterfeit checks and forwarding of that money before the check bounces, these things are all too common.

The "work from home opportunities" are easier to understand, as when people deposit these forged checks or money orders, banks are required by government regulations to credit customers' accounts within a certain amount of time, but that does not mean the funds have actually cleared. The people making these fraudulent checks do things like put one legit bank's name and address on the check, with another bank's routing number. This causes the check to first go to the bank that owns that routing number, who then forwards it to the bank whose name is listed on the check, and it eventually gets returned as non-payable to the person's bank who deposited the check. The amount is then deducted from the person's account, usually overdrawing it, sometimes significantly. This process takes several weeks, during which time the defrauded person thinks the funds have truly cleared and sent the funds to the instructed destination.

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