The Nigerian Counterfeit Check Fraud:

Bankrupting thousands through online and offline Classifieds


Q.  I have a Nigerian counterfeit check in my possession.  What should I do with it?

A.  A few days ago I called the Secret Service to find out what the policy is for this situation.  Until they get back to me with a firm answer, I strongly suggest that you write the word COUNTERFEIT across the front of the check using a ballpoint pen so that none of the evidence is obliterated.  Then drop the check off at your local police station or sheriff's office.  Please see Title 18, Chapter I, Part 25, Section 480 of the US Criminal Code.  As difficult as intent is to prove, it is as equally difficult to disprove, so do not take any chances.

Q.  Can my bank come after me for the money I sent off to the swindler?

A.  Yes, it can.  When a depositor opens an account, part of the signed agreement (contract) is that the depositor is obligated for the viability of any financial instrument he deposits.  That simply means that you are liable for any check you deposit.  The value of the check is your responsibility, which is why bounced checks are deducted from your account.  Please see The Bank's Role.

Q.  Can I get my money back?

A.  No.  There is virtually no way to trace it.  Please see Western Union - Wiring Money Into the Void and Post banks.

Q.  Why are the banks victimizing the victims?

A.  Not all banks are doing that.  Some set up payment schedules that allow victims to repay the funds in a manner that is comfortable for both the bank and the victim.  To date I have been unable to find any policy that covers this growing problem.  Please see Fraud-Aid's Letter to the Comptroller of the Currency.

Q.  Why isn't law enforcement doing more to stop this fraud?

A.  The challenges facing law enforcement today as it applies to Nigerian frauds are overwhelming.  Because the swindlers are almost impossible to locate, operate in rings covering as many as 4 different international jurisdictions for any one fraud, are able to avail themselves of throwaway email addresses, cell phones, and satellite phones, use phony names, and move their physical addresses very quickly, pinpointing them is like chasing smoke.


The only real way to combat Nigerian fraud is by word-of-mouth. 

More Nigerian fraud has been been prevented by Internet information, plus co-workers, friends, relatives, and neighbors passing the word than by all the combined efforts of law enforcement world wide.