Disclaimer: We are not attorneys and don't pretend to be.

In our experience, the solutions offered in this section have proven to be effective; however, we always recommend that you consult with an attorney.

If you have doubts about Fraud Aid, do not hesitate to contact federal (FBI, Secret Service, RCMP) Scotland Yard, or local law enforcement to check us out.

 

Stay out of debt and stay out of jail:

The legal truth about work-at-home money, package, and check forwarding jobs

 

How to really verify a check

Your ID Theft Prevention To-Do List

What to do about threats from scammers

Money has been wired into your bank, credit union, or credit card account and you have spent and/or sent it

Warning: You are at medium to high risk of arrest.

Cease all correspondence with the scammers.  Do not open or answers their emails.  If you have caller ID, do not answer their calls.  If you do answer the phone, hang up as soon as you realize who is calling you.  If they persist, blow a whistle into the telephone.  If you are being threatened, please go here: http://www.fraudaid.com/threats.htm

If you have been corresponding with the scammers by email and/or have gone to a web site they told you is theirs, you are at high risk of Identity Theft even if you have bad credit.  Go here: www.fraudaid.com/id_theft.htm.

File a Scam Email Report with our Law Enforcement Support Division.  You will find step-by-step graphic instructions for your email service here: www.fraudaid.com/find_headers.htm.

MONEY ORDER WARNING! Counterfeiters are now inventing the names of money order companies.  DO NOT CASH any money order and DO NOT DEPOSIT any money order you receive from someone you do not know  or someone you met online without ordering your bank to send it for collection.

DO NOT WITHDRAW ANY FUNDS FROM YOUR ACCOUNT to spend or to send to anyone without asking your bank if they have been paid.  Even with a hold, your account is credited before your bank has been paid.   If the draft you deposited comes back because it was stolen, forged, or is a counterfeit you will owe your bank all the money plus return charges.  www.fraudaid.com/check_liability.htm

Money has been wired into your bank, credit union, or credit card account and you have spent and/or sent it

Read these information & How-To pages:

Catching the Bad Guys

Debt Management

Debtor's Rights

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Read an Agreement

Identity Theft Prevention To-Do List

Miranda: Know your Miranda Rights and how to use them

 

  Keep a log of each person's name, title, phone number and extension, date, time, and what was said.  Do this for the entire time you are working with your bank to repay the debt, regardless of who you talk to.  So long as it has to do with the repayment or the scam, keep a record of your contact in your contact log. 

It may seem like a bother now, but you will really be glad you have the log later.

  File a police report immediately.  If your local law enforcement will not take a Fraud Report, ask to file a General Crime Report.  You will need a copy for your financial institution.

Contact Western Union or MoneyGram, depending on which you used to wire the money, and ask for a tracking report of the money you sent off to the scammers.  You may need a copy to add to your police report, and you may need a copy for your bank.  This is not an essential step, but is still a wise one.

Banks & credit unions:

The bank will probably freeze your account if they haven't done so already and will "sweep" the account, meaning they will debit whatever funds are in the account. 

They have the right to do that since they have to immediately return the money to the rightful owner and then wait to recoup their loss from you.

They will also debit funds from any other non-corporate accounts or accounts on which you are a signatory.  For instance, if you have a joint account with your mother, they will debit that account to cover their losses.  They have the right to do that.

If you have automatic deposits and/or a Bill Pay set up, please contact everyone.  Ask that you be sent paper checks instead of auto-deposits.  Tell your creditors that you will be late this month (if that is true) and explain why.  Pay them yourself rather than through Bill Pay.

We suggest that you open another account at a different bank or credit union, or switch to a plastic account: a prepaid credit card that accepts direct deposits and offers Bill Pay.

Threats: Financial institutions will often threaten you with contacting the police if you do not make immediate restitution.  While this is not an idle threat because you did present a forged instrument, banks are usually in favor of a payment plan if you cannot afford to pay them the entire amount due in one payment, and only follow through with the threat if you ignore them.

Credit unions are not in favor of repayment plans and your goal will be to have your account moved to a collection agency as soon as possible.  If your account is at a credit union, go to Option 3, Credit unions for further instructions.

Prepare your Budget Packet:

  • Your Budget Worksheet: all money in, all money out.  Be sure to include your quarterly and annual expenses, such as auto insurance, taxes, clothing allowance, money you put aside for emergencies, automatic savings withdrawals, school expenses, etc.  Do this even if you have no money left over or are in the red.  Click HERE to view and download a free budget worksheet.

Your budget is a negotiating tool, nothing more.  This is not a pass or fail test, it's merely a statement of fact.  Please understand that everything you note as an expense must be verifiable by your bank or other creditor, so don't lie or try to add in expenses that cannot be proven by your cash flow statement or bank statement.

  • Backup for the claims on your Budget Worksheet: Gather together copies of bills, expense receipts, loan statements, and credit card statements to back up your budget sheet. See Assemble your Budget Packet.

  • A copy of your police report if available.

  • A copy of the Western Union or MoneyGram tracking report, if available.

  • Write a cover letter to go with your Budget Packet.  Go to How to Write a Cover Letter for Your Budget Packet.

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Following the instructions found on the How to Write a Cover Letter page, assemble your Budget Packet.

       With your Budget Packet in hand, contact your bank using the main phone number.  Explain to the representative that you need to speak with the department that manages overdraft repayments.  If you are working with a small bank or local credit union, then speak with the Manager where you do your banking.

Once you have reached the proper contact, explain that you are the victim of a [Lottery, Payment Processing, Overpayment, Nigerian, Eastern European, Asian] counterfeit check scam and that you are determined to reach a repayment plan that is mutually beneficial.  Be sincere, be forthright, and be very adamant.  Most banks are open to negotiation.  The more aggressive you are about reaching agreeable terms, the fewer problems you will have.

NOTE: in most countries the bank will not insist that you make payments that will put you out of house and home, nor take food off your table, nor make it difficult for you to reach your place of employment.

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Alternate tactic: We have found that if you merely begin making payments of at least $50.00 to $100.00 per month the bank will not insist on a payment arrangement.  

Here are the Rules:

1. Never be late;

2. If you cannot make the payment due to a financial emergency, write a letter of explanation (enclose a copy of the bill if you have it) and state that you will be back on schedule the following month;

3. If you can afford a double payment, include a letter explaining that this was a windfall payment and that you have not changed the monthly amount;

4. If you can afford to increase your payment amount, include a letter explaining that you can now afford to pay the increased amount of $______.

By doing this, you are the one who maintains control over what you can afford to remit, not the bank.  The bottom line is that many banks don’t care about you so long as you are repaying the debt on a dependable basis.  You quickly move to the back burner.

Consider that you may have to file bankruptcy, which does not mean you will lose your home or your cars.  See BankruptcyAction.com where your questions about bankruptcy will be answered: http://www.bankruptcyaction.com/questions.htm

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DO NOT IGNORE THE SITUATION.  We can guarantee you that if you decide this is the bank or the store's problem, not yours and you refuse to answer their calls and correspondence, you will either be taken to civil court or arrested or both!

Again, if you do not come to an agreement with the bank, credit card company, or credit union as quickly as possible, they have the right to file complaint with the police and the chances are that you will be arrested.  If you are currently at risk of being arrested, go HERE.  If you have received a WARRANT or INDICTMENT, then go HERE immediately.

 

 

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