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Foreign bank transfers
Real or fraudulent?
ameriworks

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 9:13 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have been approached by a company supposedly in Stockholm, Sweden, that wants me to perform a service for it here in the U. S. Bank transfers will be sent to my checking account 3 times weekly from the company's U. S. customers. I am to deduct 5% for my services and forward 95% to the company's main office in Sweden (I guess) by Western Union or Money Gram cash transfer. I supposedly will also get paid $3,500 at the end of each month.

The explanation for why my services are needed is as follows: "Our clients have to pay with bank payments due to the contracts. Bold Studios does not have representative office in the USA. So, we cannot accept payments by bank transfer inside the country."

How risky is this? Can bank transfers be done fraudulently so that I could be responsible for the 95% of the money sent to the company's main office? Is a bank transfer the same as a wire transfer?

 

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 9:49 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

well documented widespread old school scam

ameriworks

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 10:27 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's new to me. How does the scam work?

stajer

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 10:28 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just to re-iterate what Leosghost said - this is a scam and a fraud. You will be stuck owing the money.

The scam typically works like this - a fraudulent wire or cashiers check is sent to your account. Your bank balance is increased by the amount of the wire. You send 95% of the money abroad. A week later the bank that sent the money to you realizes this was a fraud and initiates a withdrawal on the money. Your account is now debited for the full amount even though you wired out 95%.

You will be responsible for 100% of the money even if it is not in your account. Ignorance of the scam may keep you from criminal prosecution but not civil liability for paying back the originating bank.

ameriworks

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 10:39 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks. I didn't realize that a wire transfer can be fraudulent. Doesn't the money have to exist in the account it is wired from in order for the wire transfer to even be valid?

topr8

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 10:40 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

consider these things:

how did the company approach you?
why did they choose you? was there a good reason for this?
why would a company who does enough business in america to receive multiple bank transfers a week not have an american bank account?
why would they not accept credit cards?
why would they want western union payments from you instead of international bank transfers? (believe me western union in europe is almost non existent, it is certainly not a usual form of payment, in 25 years of business i've never had reason to use it, you really have to go out of your way to find an office)

i assume from your post count that either
1) you are just amusing yourself with this joke
2) you are a regular member who doesn't want to put their name to this question, but you already know the answer, because why would someone join WebmasterWorld to ask a question unrelated to webmastering?

Philosopher

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 10:40 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yep..I remember reading a story on this a year or two ago about a lady that did this and ended up owing some 75,000. The banks, while apologetic for her situation, didn't have much choice. It pretty much ruined her and her family financially.

No criminal charges were filed, but the financial toll was enormous.

ameriworks

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 10:54 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

The company didn't approach me. It ran an ad on Craigslist to which I responded. It's absolutely disgusting that people don't have better things to do with their time than try to steal other people's money on the internet. Craigslist seems to be getting quite popular for these type of scams.

Quite honestly, I just searched for "fraudulent bank transfer" to see if I could get some insight about this type of transaction, and came across this web site. I have never posted a question anywhere before. Thanks for your help.

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 12:15 am on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I started out to type, "Run, run, run far away" but got interrupted. By the time I got back several others had already said the same thing better than I would have. The odds of this arrangement being legitimate are vanishingly small.

No one has said "Welcome to Webmaster World" so here it is!

If you're in any way involved in website development or marketing, you've found one of the best professional discussion forums on the planet. :)

HRoth

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 1:26 am on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

You should notify craigslist right away about this. If you can, take the time to search for say an identifying phrase in this ad and see if you can find it elsewhere on craigslist. I have found that scammers who use rental ads to collect SSNs and credit cards for fraudulent purposes generally run the same or similar ads and using the same email addresses on craigslist. I have emailed them about this but I don't know if they did anything. It's still worth a try to notify them, though.

MrHard



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 7:38 am on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks. I didn't realize that a wire transfer can be fraudulent. Doesn't the money have to exist in the account it is wired from in order for the wire transfer to even be valid?

Search long enough and it's possible to see a loophole anywhere.

Why fiddle with an obvious scam?

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 11:01 am on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)


Doesn't the money have to exist in the account it is wired from in order for the wire transfer to even be valid?

I don't know how "wired" transfers in the US work. When I was a bank clerk in the UK 30 years ago a "telegraphic transfer" between UK banks was as good as cash. I used to spend 2 hours a day manually creating the cyphered verification codes at one busy office.

Otherwise any transfer has a timescale in which it can be recalled and our systems used to account for this when calculating available funds. The trick was to drop a transfer into the system that could legitimately fail outside of the automated limits which means that the perpetrator had a short window when the account could be emptied. For the big one I saw at the sharp end we had had a tip off and we were watching the account.

Wlauzon

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 6:02 pm on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

"Our clients have to pay with bank payments due to the contracts. Bold Studios does not have representative office in the USA. So, we cannot accept payments by bank transfer inside the country."

Should be a red flag before you read any further. For what possible reason could they NOT accept bank transfers inside the country? We have no "representatives" in any other country, yet we regularly accept wire transfers from over 30 different ones.

Morgenhund

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 5:31 pm on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

> Western Union or Money Gram

As far as I know, you cannot transfer amounts to a company's name by Western Union--it MUST be a physical person.

So their claims to be a company is probably not to be true.

For example, your account can be used for some sort of money laundering, or as an intermediate point for transferring money from phished bank accounts.

Even if they cannot reverse a bank transaction, having you in prison instead of them sure is these 5% worth.

To avoid 99% of all the scams you just need to keep away from strangers offering you money just so :-)

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 7:00 pm on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

There is no doubt this is a scam.

Think about it, they need to move large sums of money out of the US and they choose to use Craigslist to find a partner. Makes no sense.

StoutFiles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 8:44 pm on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Anytime anyone from another country asks you to do anything with money, especially the President of Nigeria, run far, far away.

It's too bad these "companies" can't be reported to local authorities. Or can they?

Hugene

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 8:54 pm on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

This thread is funny, yet sad.

Clearly, this is a fraud.

Actually a very typical fraud.

Just think about it for a sec: the ad is open for anyone to see online, and they promise 3500$ a month for doing nothing.

How is that possible/logical. Why would someone give you so much money for doing nothing. That's more than what most people make while working 160 hours a week.

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 9:54 pm on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

That, and why would any company entrust a perfect stranger with 10's of thousands of dollars.

Makes zero sense on many levels. Hence the reason that they posted here, they obviously had a bad feeling about the agreement. Hopefully they saw the light here on WebmasterWorld and they told them to get lost ... or if it was me ... string them along a little while to get them thinking they found a sucker.

MrHard



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 3:29 am on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

or if it was me ... string them along a little while to get them thinking they found a sucker

I can see the dice in hand now. Perfect definition of a mark. Roll it baby.

I think everyone realizes this is a scam. That's why the poster posted. I think most other people who actually fall for these scams suspect the same thing.

What is going on here is what the scammers are really after. People who think they can somehow get away with tricking the scammer, or who have a greed complex so strong that they have to analyze or fiddle with something they don't want to be true on some level, or whose pride does not enable them to walk away without somehow getting over on the scammer.

Everyone knows that guy with the shell game on the corner is a scam. What matters is who sticks around to watch. Sticking around at all is the first step to being ripped off, everything gets easier from there.

Or, you just get your pocket picked while you are waiting for the next game.

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 7:48 pm on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

"Everyone knows that guy with the shell game on the corner is a scam."

I was not suggesting trying to scam the scammers out of their money. I was suggesting wasting their time. If everybody who received a scam email hit the reply button, they would never be able to find a real "mark" in their crowded inbox. The scammers would be out of business in a few hours.

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 7:51 pm on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

The scammers would be out of business in a few hours.

They'd just go into a new business- selling valid e-mail addresses.

HRoth

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4032937 posted 9:42 pm on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well said.

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