Tag Archive for Fraud

Fake Brock Cheques Used In Bank Scam

Credit: stcatharinesstandard.ca

Dan Dakin

By Dan Dakin, St. Catharines Standard

It’s his first week on the job, but Brock University’s new head of finance has already had to deal with a money emergency involving corporate identity theft.

Brian Hutchings, the school’s vice-president for finance and administration, was alerted Wednesday that the school’s name was being used for a fraudulent cheque-cashing scheme.

Police say someone made fake cheques using the Brock logo and the number of its public bank account used by students to pay their tuition.

The person running the scam set up an ad on an online classified website looking for secret shoppers for a fake Brock-led customer service study of a major retail outlet and a money transfer service.

The victims were sent a counterfeit Brock cheque and then were asked to wire money to the alleged scam artist. In every case, however, the cheque bounced and the victims are left owing the bank the amount they sent.

“There are numerous scams like this out there,” said Niagara Regional Police Det. Sgt. Paul Spiridi. “Most involve the cashing of cheques for one reason or another and forwarding cash by money transfer to another party. Money transfer services are meant to transfer cash between people who know each other. They aren’t to be used as a means of commerce.”

Hutchings said Brock didn’t lose any money in the scam, but called police Wednesday as soon as they were alerted by the bank.

“The cheques were so poorly done the banks flagged it right away,” Hutchings said. “We feel bad for the (victims) because they lost money through this scam. That’s why we went public, to make sure no one else gets scammed.”

Hutchings said the school was already in the process of getting set up with payee match, a system where banks electronically match up any Brock cheques to one they know is legit before ever depositing the money.

“If they don’t match, the bank pulls it and says someone is trying to forge a cheque,” he said.

But that’s little consolation to the nearly 30 people police believe may have fallen victim to the scam. Fake cheques worth between $1,950 and $2,950 were found as far away as Calgary and Newfoundland.

Police say the fake cheques can be identified because they have the address of a bank in Toronto rather than one in St. Catharines.

Anyone who received or cashed one of the fake cheques is asked to call the NRP at 905-688-4111 and refer to incident number 12-99589.

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Phishing And Malware Meet Cheque Fraud

Posted on 24 April 2012.

Trusteer recently uncovered a scam in an underground forum that shows how data obtained through phishing and malware attacks can be used to make one of the oldest forms of fraud – cheque forging – even harder to prevent.The scam involves a criminal selling pre-printed cheques linked to corporate bank accounts in the USA, UK and China.The criminal is selling falsified bank cheques made with specialized printing equipment, ink and paper. For $5 each, he/she will supply cheques that use stolen credentials (e.g. bank account) provided by the buyer.However, to purchase cheques that use stolen credentials supplied by the counterfeiter the cost is $50 – a tenfold increase. This is a clear indicator that stolen credentials are a key enabler of cheque fraud.

Cheque data fields include personal information (e.g. name, address and phone) and financial information (e.g. bank account, routing code and cheque number). To obtain all the required data fraudsters typically need to get their hands on a physical or scanned version of a real cheque in circulation.

Many banking web sites provide access to scanned versions of paid and received cheques. Online banking login credentials obtained through malware and phishing attacks can easily be used by fraudsters to access a victim’s account and collect all the required information to commit cheque fraud. In addition, before using the cheques, fraudsters could potentially ensure account balance is sufficient to approve the transaction.

The criminal recommends using the cheques to buy products in retail stores rather than trying to redeem them for cash. Buyers are also encouraged to carry fake identification cards that match the stolen credentials on the cheque. The cheque counterfeiter offers to provide these as well.

“This is the latest example of the how criminals can use malware and phishing techniques to make traditional physical fraud schemes more effective,” said Trusteer’s CTO Amit Klein.

“This “cross-channel” approach is helping fraudsters stay one step ahead of even the most sophisticated fraud detection systems deployed online and in the brick and mortar world. It is also creating a new generation of Frank Abagnale’s that are not even required to come up with their own fraud scams.”

Housekeeper Admits Fraudulently Writing Cheques From Elderly Mold Woman

Apr 26 2012 by Lois York, Flintshire Chronicle

AN ELDERLY lady’s trusted housekeeper and companion had admitted fraudulently making out cheques to herself from the woman’s bank account.

Leanne Mitchell, 34, formerly of Parc Hendy, Mold initially claimed the victim had written the cheques out to her.

Flintshire magistrates’ court at Mold was told that in an interview with the police, she claimed the 79-year-old lady had complained she did not have enough cash to live on, had made out cheques to her, and she handed the money back.

But a hand-writing expert confirmed the cheques had not been written out by the victim, who also comes from Mold.

On Friday, the day of her trial, Mitchell, now of Erw Groes, Holywell, changed her not guilty pleas.

She had denied five fraud charges – falsely representing that she had the authority of the account holder to present cheques.

But she admitted three fraud charges and asked for two others to be taken into consideration.

Sentence was adjourned.

Prosecutor Alun Humphreys said the offences occurred between November 2008 and May last year.

In June last year the victim’s son, who had authority to deal with his mother’s finances, saw a bank statement which included a withdrawal of £105.

Investigations with the bank showed just under £700 had been withdrawn from the account.

Challenged about it, the defendant first claimed that it was a Sky warranty payment.