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Scammer Alert!

I just wanted to send a heads up to all artists out there - a scam artist is using fake Western Union checks to swindel people out of thousands of dollars.

In one case, the scam artist commissioned an artist to paint a series of presidential portraits. The scam artist sent a check for the full amount VIA western Union. After the first picture was sent to him for approval, the scam artist sent him an e-mail saying the project had to be cut short and asked him to send back over $1300!

It's a good thing that a red flag went up in the artist's head because the Western Union check turned out to be a fake and he would have lost a good amount of money.

The complete story about the artist's run in with him: http://anthonyfoti.deviantart.com/journal/33998880
The entire story: http://www.voiceoverxtra.com/article.htm?id=pkzpzwqv

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Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
glowstick_juice
Aug. 3rd, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
Wow, that's messed up. I can't believe people sometimes.
foxhack
Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
This is general advice to everyone, NEVER EVER ACCEPT A WESTERN UNION MONEY ORDER IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE PERSON WHO'S SENDING IT. Western Union's security is HORRIBLE, and that's why scammers use them.

Request a USPS issued money order. They're the safest forms of payment, at least in the US of A.
celestinaketzia
Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
Funny that you say that. I tried to send something Western Union once and they denied me. They asked me questions pertaining to my credit history.
foxhack
Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:27 am (UTC)
Well, Western Union money orders can be forged easily. Western Union money transfers, on the other hand, are another story. I noticed they ramped up security on those after my sisters had some money sent to us to cover a recent funeral. They wanted loads of ID just so we could get the money.
lobotomysoup
Aug. 3rd, 2010 05:55 am (UTC)
That would be due to the crack down on money laundering.
lastres0rt
Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
Seconding this.

I've never heard of WU being used in anything BUT scams, honestly.
skulldog
Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:31 am (UTC)
Age old 'Nigerian' scam, sending back extra money from a fake Western Union.

Everyone should also be on the alert for anyone trying to buy art located in Nigeria, Cameroon, or other African areas. 99.9% of the time it's a scam to get you to send them money.

bladespark
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
American scammers have figured this one out too though, so it's not just location that you need to be on the lookout for.
shockwave77598
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:31 pm (UTC)
I never trust anything having to do with Nigeria. Ever. Period. Whether they are trying to scam you over the internet or standing around the ATM asking you to show them how it works (after which they'll palm your card while "verifying" that they can do it right to you - and they saw you type your pin in.) I have no business with anyone or anything having to do with any part of Africa.

My defense to the Western Union scam is to just reply that I haven't deposited it yet, and I'll just mail it back to them. You'll be surprised at the cartwheels they do trying to keep you from mailing their bogus check back. But honestly, it's the same with any check deposit -- anyone wanting a refund has to be told that until the check clears, they get no money back. And even then DO NOT USE A PERSONAL CHECK TO REPAY ANYONE YOU DON"T KNOW FOR ANY REASON! Once the criminals have your check, they can print hundreds more and go on a shopping spree with you paying the bill. Either use a postal money order or the same western union you originally got it through.
neive
Aug. 5th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
Its not just Nigeria and stuff like that lmao. There's people from the UK trying to scam a lot of people in cragslist lately. |D Pretty much yeah, if they're asking you to do Western Union you better have flags going off haha.
spiffystuff
Aug. 3rd, 2010 04:05 am (UTC)
Always make sure checks/money orders clear before doing any work. If you're not sure if it has, check with the bank.

If someone ever sends you "extra" on a check and asks you to return it, HUGE RED FLAGS. Again, talk to your bank to make sure there's no chance the funds could have been faked.
frazzled_niya
Aug. 3rd, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
:(...damn that really sucks, thanks for teh heads up!
china_kitty
Aug. 3rd, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up about that. I am glad his wife even sniffed out a scam as well!
alpharaye
Aug. 3rd, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
I have worked in a grocery store front office for close to ten years and if ANYONE EVER over pays you and wants to send you a Western Union back... DON'T.

I have seen more people lose money this way, and if you win something off Ebay and they want you to pay that way... DON'T.

Cause once you send money, they get it... and it's gone.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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