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Scam & Fraud News

Shared inheritances and cheque fraud

By RTL Today - 19-02-20
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Shared inheritances and cheque fraud (© Pixabay)

Scams self-perpetuate by constantly evolving, as scammers discover new methods to trick people out of their money. In part one of the series, we explained how scammers were able to form relationships with their marks in order to gain trust to steal their money.

In part one of this series, we explored some popular scams that fall under the umbrella term of "Nigeria Connection", as coined by the German police.

The most obvious Nigeria Connection scam tricks the victim by offering them large amounts of money. The police constantly receive reports from citizens concerning emails or messages on apps from strangers, which consist of supposedly lucrative offers.

Steve Goedert, the head of the police's prevention service, explained that this is one of the oldest forms of the scam: a Nigerian prince (or other individuals, such as a lawyer allegedly representing a long-lost relative) contacts the recipient and requests their help which will end with a remuneration of an exorbitant sum.

A specific example of the scam concerns a blocked inheritance due to fees that require paying. The scammer promises to share the inheritance if the victim pays the fees. Goedert explained that the best reaction is to delete such emails. After all, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

Cheque fraud

A further scam involves fake cheques. Whilst Luxembourg tends not to use cheques, other countries still tend to use them. This scam is prolific in the United States, for example.

Despite the old-fashioned nature of using a cheque, the scam is prevalent on the internet. If someone is selling a car online, a scammer may respond and offer to pay a particular amount by cheque. The amount is usually much higher than the amount the seller is asking for. The recipient then gets the cheque and all seems as normal, which means the recipient then completes the sale of the car.

However, at the point of cashing in the cheque, the cheque bounces - that is, the bank reverses the cheque due to insufficient funds. Goedert reiterated that, in selling high-value goods such as cars, the best method is to meet the buyer in person. If a potential buyer offers to pay by cheque, then insist on a bank transfer or cash, Goedert stressed. Finally, he said listening to your gut can also always be useful in situations where shady individuals may take advantage.

Tune in on Friday for the third part in this series on scams!



Tags: inheritance fraud, check fraud, cheque fraud

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