Counterfeit financial instruments are circulated in a variety of Internet scams. The ploy is always to get someone to cash them and then wire the money back to the person behind the scam.

In the past couple of weeks, readers and other sources have brought to my attention that counterfeit Visa Travelers Cheques are circulating.

Visa has provided resources to identify these instruments.

You can call them at 1-800-227-6811 to verify an item. This can also be done on-line, here.Visa also has a good interactive tool to identify the security features of the Visa Travelers Cheque, here.

The trick is to ALWAYS verify them before you negotiate them using your good name!

Some of the scams being used to trick people into cashing these items are known as work-at-home (job) scams, secret shopper, romance, lottery and auction scams.

A collective name for all of these scams that ask you to cash an item and send the money back to the scammer is called the advance fee (419) scam.

A lot of the sites dedicated to fighting scams are also seeing an alarming trend, which is that people are getting arrested for attempting to cash these items.

I recently had a conversation with the fine folks over at FraudAid about this trend.

A great (new) resource about all the counterfeit paper being circulated is

People, who fall for these scams do so because they are lured with something that is too good to be true. The old saying is that if it is “too good to be true, it is NOT!”

Here are some other counterfeit instruments, I written about that are still in circulation:

Counterfeit MoneyGram Money Orders being passed via Internet Scams

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks Fuel Internet Crime

American Express Gift Cheques Being Circulated in Internet Scams

Counterfeit Postal Money Orders Showing Up in IScams Again

Here is a picture of counterfeit Visa Travelers Cheques that were sent to someone about a week ago. They were sent from the United Kingdom, however the scammer wanted the money wired to Nigeria.

(Photograph courtesy of Raleigh)

Be Sociable, Share!