Feeds

Police cuff 77 in fake cheque crackdown

Spam scam scum slammed

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More than $2.1bn in counterfeit cheques destined for the US have been seized and 77 arrests made in Netherlands, Nigeria and Canada as part of an international crackdown on cheque fraud scams.

News of the busts came at a US conference on Wednesday launching an initiative - dubbed the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness - designed to help consumers and small businesses to learn how to spot and avoid fake cheque scams. The full extent of the fraud is unknown, but scams in which fraudsters trick consumers into accepting phoney cheques or money orders and wiring some of the money in return are increasing at an alarming rate, according to the National Consumers League (NCL).

The NCL received more reports about fake cheque frauds by the middle of September than the whole of 2006. Victims of fake cheque scams are losing an average of $3,000 to $4,000.

Prospective marks are offered "processing fees" for depositing cheques which later turn out to be bogus. The trick works because US banking customers are often quickly credited for deposits. Although funds appear in accounts, leading targets to believe all is well, they have not been cleared through the system. Days later when the banks discover the cheques are fake and deduct funds, the victims - who've already sent money to fraudsters thinking that all is well - are left out of pocket.

Many potential victims are unaware that they are liable for losses if the cheques they deposit prove to be hooky. NCL’s new FakeChecks.org website aims to help educate consumers on the issue.

"The most important thing consumers need to know to protect themselves from fake cheque scams is that there is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a cheque or money order and ask you to wire money anywhere in return," said Susan Grant, NCL vice president of public policy.

A recent international operation targeting the scam led to 16 arrests in Nigeria, 60 in the Netherlands and one in Canada, according to Greg Campbell, US Postal Inspection Service inspector in charge of global security. Three suspects from the Netherlands and Nigeria have been extradited the US and are awaiting trial. Extradition proceedings are pending against five others, Reuters reports. It adds that UK police were also involved in the operation. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.