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- Joined: 23 Jan 2020
Often the scam emails they use to contact people will include fake websites to make them appear as if they are making contact from a real and established company. The fake companies they create will often appear to be based in China, Hong Kong, Japan or somewhere else in Asia. Many of them act as steel manufacturing or oil production companies, but other business types may also be used for these scams.
In some cases the scammers will also use names, websites, and addresses of actual real companies to spoof people into thinking that they are working for a real company. Sometimes they also use fraudulent domains that redirect to the website of a real company to spoof people. But the email address the scammer will be using to make contact in these instances wont ever be connected in any way to a real company. Thus, the body of the email may contain the name of a real company, the real company address, phone number and even the real company's website, but the scammer will likely be contacting you by way of a free webmail email account.
The more convincing fake company representative scam occurs when the scammer sets up a fake company website and makes initial contact using an email address connected to their fraudulent internet domain. The emails that come from fake company internet domain names are harder for an unsuspecting person to detect compared to when the scammer is just using a free webmail email address.
The main job duty that the scammers will say is required by the scam victim is to receive payments from so-called overseas customers and to then deposit those payments into one's own bank account. In exchange for one's service of handling payments for the fake company the scammer will usually offer to pay the person 10%-15% of these fictitious payments as commission or as "profit splitting" for helping to process these payments.
It will sound like very easy and well paid work. The victim will be told that they will be working remotely, only part-time, from home, and with good pay, but this is the complete opposite of the truth. The payments from customers don't really exist and, as their company representative, one will end up committing fake-check (cheque) fraud by acting as a "check-mule".
This elaborate representative employment scam is also known as a “Fake-Check” scam. So, once the representative (scam victim) agrees to work for the scammer’s fake company, then the scammer will immediately start mailing fake checks via postal mail to the victim as so-called payments from the fictitious overseas customers. Then the scam victim (who has been tricked into acting as the scammer's overseas "representative") will be told to deposit those fake checks into their own personal bank account for check clearing.
It will usually be a fake check created using a high-quality printer and will include real bank account information within the check which will be actual bank account information that the scammer will have stolen from a real company. Scammers may also use actual checks that the scammer has stolen from a real company but then filled up the checks with their own illegal payment information.
As long as the company account number that the check is to draw the money from has sufficient funds in its account then the check will initially clear the bank and the money will appear in the victim's own bank account balance temporarily. The check will only "bounce" later on into the future once the real company receives the cleared check back from their bank, which is when the real company disputes the fake-check payment amount with their bank.
But the way the representative (scam victim) gets scammed and loses money is when the check initially clears. That is when the victim is expected to immediately transfer the money collected from the cleared fake check (minus the victim’s so-called commission) to the scammer via either Western Union, Money Gram or some other untraceable electronic payment method.
The scammer will be located in another country from the victim. And by the time the check bounces (which can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months), the money is already gone from the representative’s (victim's) bank account and in the hands of the scammer. Then the victim is left in debt to their own bank for the amount of the fake checks that have bounced.
The victim loses the money permanently and it can amount to many thousands of dollars. In addition to financial losses, the victim will have problems with his/her credit rating in the future and the victim may also be questioned and charged by the police for committing fake-check fraud.
The scammers will also attempt to obtain the victim’s bank account information when the scam first commences, which the scammer may then also try to illegally extract money from via an unauthorized electronic bank transfer.
Once the scammers have a lot of the victim's personal information then the scam can also lead to other things like personal identity theft and additional financial problems for the victim down the line.