A couple of weeks ago, I updated an earlier post about counterfeit American Express Gift Cheques and asked my readers to help me discover exactly how these items were surfacing.

Prior to this, I knew they were showing up over a wide geographical area, but no one was “sharing” how they happened to get them.

One reader wrote in and said:

“I was almost duped into this. I responded to an ad on indeed.com. I was told that this person was an artist that needed a way of getting his money from clients in the US. This person was going to give me 10% of every artwork he sold. I bought in to this hook, line and sinker. However, when the payment came it was from Nigeria that made me suspicious. I checked online and verified these with American Express they asked me for all the information I had on the person I received these cheques from and had me write a series of numbers and letters on the back of the cheques and send them back to them. Thanks to your website I was able to prevent this from happening to me.”

Several other readers wrote in and reported getting them as a result of being hired to process payments a.k.a. (also known as) a “job scam,” or as an overpayment for something they were selling online.

In every report, the reader had been asked to negotiate the items and wire the majority of it (minus a commission) to either Nigeria, or the United Kingdom. The return addresses (where they were being sent from) were from all over the United States and as stated above, Nigeria.

Interestingly enough, I haven’t seen any warnings in the press, or from American Express about this.

The best way for someone to protect themselves is to verify them with American Express by calling their verification number at 1-800-221-7282. American Express claims that if you do this, they will either tell you the item is fraudulent, or reimburse you if they make a mistake.

If you spot any of this activity, I would report it to:

Internet Crime Complaint Center (FBI)

If it involves receiving these through the mail, you can also report it to the Postal Inspectors, here.

Besides counterfeit cashier’s checks – which seem to change “affected financial institutions” daily – we have seen (mostly) counterfeit money orders (U.S. and Travelers MoneyGram) being used in Internet misdeeds in the past couple of years.

Here are some previous posts about similar, or the same activity:

Counterfeit American Express Gift Cheques

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks Fuel Internet Crime

Counterfeit Postal Money Orders Showing Up in IScams Again

Postal Money Order Romance Scam

Counterfeit Travelers Express (MoneyGram) Money Orders Showing Up …

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