Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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Woman Gets Two Years for Aiding Nigerian Internet Check Scam

 A Washington woman was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in prison and five years of supervised release for her role in an Internet counterfeit check scheme.

 

Edna Fiedler pleaded guilty in March to attempting to defraud U.S. citizens in a scheme known as a Nigerian check scam.

 

Fiedler helped her accomplices in Nigeria send fake checks to people who had agreed to cash the checks on behalf of the sender, keeping some of the proceeds and sending the rest back.

 

The Nigerians found people willing to cash the fake checks via e-mail. They would send their names as well as fake documents that looked like Wal-Mart money orders, Bank of America checks, U.S. Postal Service checks and American Express traveler’s checks to Fiedler. They told her how to fill out the checks and where to send them.

 

The recipients most likely thought they were helping out someone who needed a person in the U.S. to cash a check for them, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. They were able to get the money by cashing the checks, and sent most of it to either Fiedler or her Nigerian accomplices. However, once the checks were discovered to be fake, the people who cashed them were responsible for the full amount.

 

All told, Fiedler sent out US$609,000 worth of phony checks and money orders. When U.S. Secret Service agents investigating the case searched Fiedler’s house, they found additional fake checks worth more than $1.1 million that she was preparing to send out.

 

At a recent conference in Seattle, a representative from the U.S. Postal Service and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna described ways they’re working to shut down these kinds of scams, particularly because they often involve people who don’t realize that they’re taking part in illegal activities.

 

The U.S. Postal Service recently sent 15 postal investigators to Lagos, Nigeria, and during a three-month period there, they helped intercept counterfeit checks, lottery tickets and eBay overpayment schemes with a face value of $2.1 billion, Chris Siouris, a cyber investigator at the U.S. Postal Inspector, said at the recent conference. Siouris, McKenna and others are pushing for ways to better educate Internet users so that people don’t unwittingly help out in these kinds of e-mail scams.

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June 27, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. This almost happened to me in Aug 2008. I met a guy online via myspace and we began chatting online via yahoo messenger. In the beginning he was very charming and claimed he lived in the US but was visiting his sick mom in Nigeria. Then he said his died and he needed me to do him a favor. First he asked me if I would deposit a check written from him to me in my bank. Then he said one of his clients (Elizabeth Lopez) was going to mail a check to me on his behalf, for some work he did for her back in the states. He sent me a $5000 check. I contacted the bank that the check was made out from and they confired that the account was a business account that had closed over a year ago. I immediately knew this was a SCAM and I contacted the local police and provided them with all of the information that I had. I really hope they catch this guy and whom ever is involved with this. He said his name was Malcoln James and he lived in Michagan. His yahoo messenger screennames have changed 4 times within the last month:malcon james, malconjames, malconjames777. Please beware of this SCAM. Be very wise and don’t let these crooks take advantage of your kindness and try to detroy you.

    Comment by H.Jones | August 12, 2008 | Reply

  2. how can you find out if a check is a scam

    Comment by rose | October 6, 2008 | Reply

  3. Good job! Congratulations for your blog.

    Comment by Madi Lussier | August 11, 2009 | Reply


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