(KNNP) – Pittsburgh filmakers, beware! A Houston based fraud ring is targeting YOU!
Late Thursday morning, we were made aware of several reports that frauduolent checks are being mailed to Pittsburgh based production companies and independent producers/directors.
They find this information on professional job boards, Craigslist and other places posing as a company or individual that is offering work. They will usually send a script and job details.
The cited origin on the checks we have details about is MarVio Films, who has come forward and stated that these are NOT authenticated MarVio checks. These checks ARE fraud, do not cash them.
According to the FBI and Internet Cyber Crime Committee, this scam is called a Casheir’s Check Scam.
How does a Casheir’s Check Scam Work?
The scammer targets high profile professionals such as actors, producers, directors or technicians via job boards and forums for large production companies with a fake check. They then wait for reception verification, wait for the money to be spent and then withdraw the check to leave the individual financially compromised.
The scam serves no benefit to the scammer other than malicious enjoyment of the victim’s financial dismay and misfortune. Once the check is cashed and returned, this process is complete and usually irreversible.
How do I avoid this scam if I get a check?
First order of business, DO NOT cash a check that you did not receive in person. Most checks will be delivered by hand in hand.
Alternatively, if mailed, your check will be verified by signature on delivery. If you did NOT sign for your check or it did not come in a regular envelope, it might be a risk.
Details on the Check
The check also holds clues to it’s legitimacy. The following areas are of concern:
1 – Logo. Does it match the signature or endorsing entity? In this example, CHASE from number 1 and JP Morgan Chase from number 7 is a mismatch.
2 – Remitter. Does the remitter make sense? Does it match with number 1 when applicable? In this example, 2 and 1 mismatch. MarVivo Films would have their own entity check and not a casheir’s check.
3 – Pay. Does the amount seem suspect? Does it differ from the amount you were promised? Does it seem high?
4 – Cashier’s Check. Does the format of the field look odd? Does this check need to be a casheir’s check given the company? Is it shiny, raised or otherwise odd looking?
5 – Account Number. Does it look odd? Does it look odd? Look it up on ABA as a ROUTING NUMBER. Does it ping a result? If it does, it is fraud.
6 – Check Number. Is the number odd? Is it a low number (below 2000?) This indicates a newer account. This is a weak flag, but is still a red flag.
7 – Drawer. Does this area look fuzzy? Do the colors mismatch around it? Is it matching the bank that issued it? Is there an address with zipcode? This is the largest red flag on the document.
8 – Security notification. Does this look faked? Does it look scanned? If it is formatted and clear, it might be a legitimate check. It might also be a template. Check the security features it mentions.
9 – Check Edge. Is it perforated or flat? If flat, it was likely printed. If perforated, it is likely genuine or part of a blank check. Make sure everything matches.
Subscribe to post notifications for free!