LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) – It is a new high tech version of the old counterfeit check scam: job seeker gets a genuine looking check for more than she was supposed to get paid, deposits it, and unwittingly sent the change–the real money–back to the scammer.
To add insult to injury, the bank is holding the victim responsible for covering their loss, even though the bank is insured.
“Julie”, as we will call a twenty something job seeker, found a Texas-based company, looking to open a Buffalo office on the “Indeed” website-touted as the top job placement firm in the country–and they connected.
Only problem, a scammer lifted the real listing from Indeed, and replaced it with his bogus post. He sent Julie a check for $3,400–$400 for her, the remaining $3,000 which she would place in another account which the scammer said was to cover a seminar.
About 8 days later the check, from a Texas firm, with a Georgia bank account, bounced and Julie told her bank she was the victim of a scam.
“That a police report has been filed, and to see if there was anything they could do for me to get this money back so that I did not owe the bank this amount of money,” Julie said.
An executive for Julie’s bank told her, “in situations like this I should really be holding the check in my bank account for 10 days–not two days–to see if the check is real.” But did anybody at the bank tell Julie that? “No, they told me two days, it should be cleared, and that it was a good check.”
Julie’s bank has given her 45 days to come up with the money to cover the $3,400 or they will take the money from a co-signer’s account.
There is little doubt the bogus check was written on actual check paper stock–complete with watermarks–but bank staff are supposed to be trained to alert a consumer if a scam could be at hand, but in this case, Julie wasn’t warned until after the damage was done.