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My Friend Was Scammed With a Check. – Jude

“Dear Steve,

I have a friend who thought he was doing business with an investor from London, a check was sent after months of many emails, he deposited the check into his account and had to send the investor money back in the area of 3,000.00 I had not known about this or I would have stopped him at that part myself, seeing I have seen this before. He since realized that there was no investor seeing that the remaing amount left in the bank did not clear. He has been told that he will be charged with felony for the money withdrawn, he has all the emails, texts and copies of the wires..My question is how can he clear his name and and file complaints in regards to this matter.

Thank you
Jude”

Dear Jude,

I was talking to someone just this morning about a similar issue. Here is the problem. When you deposit a check into your bank, even a money order or cashiers check, it is not guaranteed until the funds have cleared the bank on which it is drawn.

Scammers count on you taking out funds before the check has cleared and sending them off, generally overseas. Once the check bounces the depositor is on the hook for the entire amount advanced.

While your local bank may make those funds available, they do that as a courtesy to their customers. The customer that deposited the check is responsible for reimbursing their bank for any funds that were dishonored but credited and withdrawn before the check cleared.

International checks take longer to clear.

Your friend needs to make repayment arrangements with his bank to avoid this matter escalating.

As far as filing a complaint, you can use the listing of consumer protection and consumer affairs offices as a place to start but seeing how this is an international matter I would not get your hopes up this is going to end well.

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Since the other party is in England, your friend may also wish to file a complaint with the UK Office of Fair Trading as well.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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