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Bank transfer fraud attempt
Thread poster: Katia Louisa CHAAL

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 19:39
Member (2016)
English to German
Checks are really obsolete Apr 25

Irina, here in Europe we use something called the "Internet". We send and receive payments "online". That means that you do not have to leave your home or even your office chair in order to make a payment.

Sorry for that :D

But anyway, I believe I have not visited any physical place of my bank in the last few years, and as far as I know, more and more branch offices of banks are closing down over here. Everything is done online, except maybe by (some) elderly people. T
... See more
Irina, here in Europe we use something called the "Internet". We send and receive payments "online". That means that you do not have to leave your home or even your office chair in order to make a payment.

Sorry for that :D

But anyway, I believe I have not visited any physical place of my bank in the last few years, and as far as I know, more and more branch offices of banks are closing down over here. Everything is done online, except maybe by (some) elderly people. Those fossiled paper checks simply do not fit in any longer. And I do not see the benefits you mention either. What do you mean, a check can be traced? It seems anyone can use a color copier or printer to create a fake check and have it deposited at a bank, and it takes weeks until this thing bounces. What use is it that you can "trace" such a thing - there is no connection to the fraudster on it.
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Sheila Wilson
Teresa Borges
Yoana Ivanova
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 01:39
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Depositing Apr 25

By the way, if your bank wasn't pulling your leg when they said the scammer deposited the check in person, filing a police report may be more meaningful than usual, because there's a real chance they were caught on CCTV.

Whether the police would bother to get up from their couches for this is, of course, another matter.

[Edited at 2019-04-25 14:28 GMT]


Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Liviu-Lee Roth
 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 12:39
English to Russian
+ ...
Ouch! :-) Apr 25

Key-Viktor, I think you went a bit too far:-) explaining to me about the Internet. I've been doing autopays and online shopping since they became available in the last century. With Express Deposit I don't need to run to the bank either. Anyway, it's a 2-min drive from my place on the way to my favorite grocery store and pretty much everything else. You know that here in the US, save a handful of large cities, we must drive to get anywhere; we also tend to choose at least one bank close to home,... See more
Key-Viktor, I think you went a bit too far:-) explaining to me about the Internet. I've been doing autopays and online shopping since they became available in the last century. With Express Deposit I don't need to run to the bank either. Anyway, it's a 2-min drive from my place on the way to my favorite grocery store and pretty much everything else. You know that here in the US, save a handful of large cities, we must drive to get anywhere; we also tend to choose at least one bank close to home, a credit union in my case, 3 branches within 8 miles (a tiny distance for Houston) so the trip to the bank does not turn into an off-way endeavor by several means of public transportation and a loss of at least half a day. I trot the globe like crazy and still stay in touch with all my banking and other financial transactions. I give voice orders to my TV:-) so I'm not as backwood myself as the checks seem to be. Checks are not complications, they are an extra convenience of zero cost and an additional option. With my banking history, checks of up to 15K from the same client are cleared immediately so I don't mind it at all. Of course, I do have direct deposit clients but I shall never mess with Paypal or the like for business transactons, or paid (by me) wire transfers. But then again, I graze on the US pastures:-) and interpret elsewhere on the planet on the US payers' dime only. I may or, rather, will have to reconsider after receiving a lucrative offer from a non-US based client but that would be a separate instance, not the rule.

And I shall never give my banking info over the internet to any unknown private client, before or after. Too many uncertainties, including simple neglect. I'd give it to you and a few other people here who had obviously earned everyone's trust here on Proz, should anyone need my services:-), Gosh, I hope this statement won't be misinterpreted as solicitation

What do you mean "Color copy"? With all the watermarks? Some global-scale underground factory printing fake checkbooks? The check provides you with the name, bank name, routing No., account No. and address of the payer, making him criminally responsible for any surprises.



[Edited at 2019-04-25 15:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-04-25 15:19 GMT]
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Michael Newton
Jessica Noyes
Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 19:39
Member (2016)
English to German
Who looks at the watermarks? Apr 25

IrinaN wrote:
Key-Viktor, I think you went a bit too far:-)


Yes I did, but this cool misspelling of my name should be revenge enough

IrinaN wrote:
What do you mean "Color copy"? With all the watermarks? Some global-scale underground factory printing fake checkbooks? The check provides you with the name, bank name, routing No., account No. and address of the payer, making him criminally responsible for any surprises.


I could be wrong, but I don't believe that my bank would be able to check watermarks on a cheque from another country. They may be able to scan a local check with a machine, but some international check? I really must go and talk to them banksters. Somehow these fraudsters must be able to do it. Anyway, in such a case the name and address of the payer will be faked too, so that you won't find the true criminal so easily.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The differences in thinking and banking between the United States and Europe are clearly enormous Apr 25

IrinaN wrote:
Checks are not complications, they are an extra convenience of zero cost and an additional option. With my banking history, checks of up to 15K from the same client are cleared immediately so I don't mind it at all.

Cleared immediately after they've been written out (maybe by machine) and put into the snail mail system by your client, spent some time physically negotiating the highways and/or airways, found their way to the right premises, been picked up from the box at the end of your drive, and then taken by car to your "local" bank. Wow - that doesn't sound very immediate to me! BTW, I may well have some of that wrong as I've spent a total of two days in the USA, so please forgive any errors. But in the EU the same transaction happens with my client clicking a couple of times, me clicking a couple of times, and Hey Presto! I send all my invoices by email and the payment notification has been received within single minutes on several occasions. Not normally from agency clients, of course , but several freelance outsourcers and direct clients have paid me that fast.

The check provides you with the name, bank name, routing No., account No. and address of the payer, making him criminally responsible for any surprises.

And yet these scams have happened, and are continuing to happen, and all the scammers are paying by cheque/check.


Teresa Borges
Yoana Ivanova
 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 12:39
English to Russian
+ ...
Shame on me, no kidding Apr 25

Kay-Viktor Stegemann wrote:

IrinaN wrote:
Key-Viktor, I think you went a bit too far:-)


Yes I did, but this cool misspelling of my name should be revenge enough



I sincerely apologize.


Kay-Viktor Stegemann
 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 12:39
English to Russian
+ ...
For Pete's sake Apr 25

Sheila Wilson wrote:


Cleared immediately after they've been written out (maybe by machine) and put into the snail mail system by your client, spent some time physically negotiating the highways and/or airways, found their way to the right premises, been picked up from the box at the end of your drive, and then taken by car to your "local" bank.


Yes, and all is done before Day 30 arrives and I have it in my hands, maybe 2-3 days later but not in 45 or 60, and sometimes within 1 week.

But for the life in me, when did I deny the viability and/or convenience of all other options?

BTW, I can see watermarks without any special equipment, and so can little scanning machines before the check find its way to the bank drawer.


Liviu-Lee Roth
Thayenga
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:39
French to English
Checks and cheques Apr 26

Tom in London wrote:

Sheila Wilson wrote:

How is that going to work with, for example, the translation of a book?


They can't pay you in advance unless they have an invoice from you, with your bank details - unless you're foolish enough to accept payment without an invoice (which incidentally could also get you into trouble with the tax authorities).

And you can't, and never should, issue an invoice unless it quotes the recipient's Tax or VAT number and their registered address.

I see I need to explain this point by point. What's next?

[Edited at 2019-04-25 10:07 GMT]


Differences.
There are significant differences in banking practices from one country to another. There are also different rules 'n' regs required by country A in dealings with countries B and C that may not be the same when B or C are dealing with A.
In France, cheques are still a common means of payment, not in shops, but for one-off payments in business and sometimes for quite important amounts. Bank transfers for one-off transfers are slowly catching on in France but are still not quite so common (nor as speedy) for one-off payments. Loads of people still use cheques; companies and private clients. Half of my certified translations are paid for by cheque, but those are for relatively small amounts. Some long-standing clients continue to pay me by cheque although I wish they wouldn't. Transfers are so much easier!
Some employers still pay their employees by cheque. Another point, not all clients have a VAT number and not all translators are registered for VAT. Those who are not liable for VAT in the UK do not have and cannot obtain an intra-EU VAT number; in France, if you are not eligible for VAT, you can still obtain an intra-EU VAT number. If your client is not a business, but a private individual, they will not have a VAT number. The above are just random examples of differences to remind us that different processes and different rules from one country to another make it difficult to compare. What seems odd in one country might be a routine event in another. Add to that how different things can be when doing business with clients in a different country, then I think we need to be careful when comparing.

Checks.
With any new client, basic checks should be carried out systematically to see whether the business or other info you have been given checks out. If it doesn't, then you need to look further. These are the initial and best verifications that can be done quickly. If stuff does not check out, don't do business with them.

Disclosing band account details.
When I lived in the UK, some time ago now, no-one readily gave out their bank account details. Seeing full bank account details on company headed paper has been commonplace in France for years.

Depositing cheques.
It is possible to have complied with tax and other regulations in terms of the paperwork issued and for that to do nothing to prevent an impostor dropping into your bank to deposit a cheque, or even simply sending it through the post. With camera surveillance, the person is taking quite a risk (e.g. camera surveillance, for one), but with or without a signature, I deposit client cheques using envelopes and forms freely available in the entrance and that you drop in a specific cheque deposit box in the bank. You do not need to go to the desk, the bank does not even need to be open. Further, it can also be done by simply sending the cheque through the post with a bogus signature on the back of the cheque and on the form. Just factor in the failure to check a signature... that good ol' human factor and well, the money goes onto your account as a first default process.


[Edited at 2019-04-27 01:08 GMT]


DZiW
Teresa Borges
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:39
French to English
NOt just cheques, but also by transfer Apr 26

Sheila Wilson wrote:

And yet these scams have happened, and are continuing to happen, and all the scammers are paying by cheque/check.


There are identical scams around with people paying by bank transfers too. The funds are transferred by the pseudo-client and remain on the account long enough, sometimes, for the counter-payment to be made by the unwitting victim.
Bank transfers that are made from an account that is not legit, or that does not have sufficient funds, or whose funds have been credited using false cheques (for example) sometimes take a couple of days to work through the system and be rejected. If a big false cheque is paid into account, if it takes up to 8-10 days to bounce, that is more than enough time for an unknowing person to "reimburse" the overpayment. It happens from time to time on online small ad sites: someone will purchase a costly item from someone, send them a cheque or a transfer and send the goods purchased. The bad guy receives the goods, the good guy suddenly finds the funds that were initially credited to his account are in fact debited as the payment was rejected.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Has it really involved bank transfers? Apr 28

I thought at first that this scam involved wire transfers, and that worried me a lot. But I now suspect it's more likely that they were all kicked off by cheques paid into bank accounts.

I'd love to know if that's a correct assumption - or not.


 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:39
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Bank transfer fraud attempt Apr 29

The following may illustrate why some US agencies like to send paper checks.

"Gee, we went you a check yesterday. It may take a week to ten days to reach you".

How many times have I heard this.


Sheila Wilson
Teresa Borges
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:39
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Avoid reimbursement Apr 30

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

Bank transfers that are made from an account that is not legit, or that does not have sufficient funds, or whose funds have been credited using false cheques (for example) sometimes take a couple of days to work through the system and be rejected. If a big false cheque is paid into account, if it takes up to 8-10 days to bounce, that is more than enough time for an unknowing person to "reimburse" the overpayment.


In this case all the potential victim needs to do is to inform the fraudster that a reimbursement is only possible two weeks after the receipt of the funds, at the earliest. In case the alleged client demands immediate reimbursement, you should inform your bank and the proper agencies, e. g. police, FBI, Internet Crime Prevention Agency, etc., about the suspected fraud.

[Edited at 2019-04-30 15:37 GMT]


Paweł Hamerski
Elizabeth Tamblin
 

Christiane Grune
United States
Local time: 13:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Same thing happened to me May 17

The exact same thing happened to me, except that the email of the sender was a different one, and the document was for a different language combination. The scammer said he found me on a translators website and wanted me to translate a very long document and would pay me in advance if i sent all my bank account info etc. I did fall for it and sent all my bank info, and few a days later he said there a mix-up and that they sent me about 9000 dollars that was supposed to be for the vent planner, a... See more
The exact same thing happened to me, except that the email of the sender was a different one, and the document was for a different language combination. The scammer said he found me on a translators website and wanted me to translate a very long document and would pay me in advance if i sent all my bank account info etc. I did fall for it and sent all my bank info, and few a days later he said there a mix-up and that they sent me about 9000 dollars that was supposed to be for the vent planner, and that i should return a portion of the funds to him. They mailed me a check directly to my bank and the bank deposited in my account. I immediatey asked for an investigation on the check and sure enough the bank found out the check was false and removed the funds from my account. luckily i hadnt transferred the scammer any funds from my account. Beware that there are lots of scammers on the web pretending they are clients. They usually mispell words in their emails, and they use different names and numbers in their email address.Collapse


 

Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:39
English to Czech
+ ...
(The only) one interesting point May 21

Christiane Grune wrote:

They mailed me a check directly to my bank and the bank deposited in my account.


How exactly did this happen? Did it involve impersonating you, as the owner of that account?


 

Laurent Mercky
France
Local time: 19:39
Member (Jul 2019)
Chinese to French
+ ...
Cheques May 21

Never accept payment by cheques. Never.
Use Paypal.


 
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