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Old 10-14-2011, 09:01 AM   #1
Aviv
Dojo: Aikido in Fredericksburg
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 82
United_States
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Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

There is a fraud going around where you will receive an email from someone wanted to book lessons in advance. They inquire about the cost and eventually send you a check in excess of the amount before the lessons are scheduled to begin. They ask you to refund them the difference.

The problem is that the check they send you is fraudulent and even though it might clear initially, eventually it will come back. You may even be liable for cashing a bad check. More info can be seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance-fee_fraud

Do not get involved with these folks. They are part of an international ring of scammers. There is an ongoing investigation by US federal law enforcement. If you have been a victim of this, please contact your local authorities. In the US you can also contact your regional FBI office ( http://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field ) or even the Secret Service ( http://www.secretservice.gov/ectf.shtml ) which is involved in currency fraud and internet crime.

Kyotskete.

Peace, Aviv Goldsmith
Aikido in Fredericksburg
www.aikidoinfredericksburg.org
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
DarkShodan
Dojo: Shuurin Dojo - Omaha, Nebarska
Location: Omaha
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 157
United_States
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Re: Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

This is why I only accept cash or beer.

Thanks for the heads up.

Victims, aren't we all.
-- Eric Draven
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
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Re: Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

I think it was spring over a year ago, when my husband was thinking of offering private lessons in karate (he had taught before at a local dojo with permission from his original teacher at college)
Anyway someone from another country sent an email about some young relative whom he wanted to be sure received instruction and general guidance and thus it would involve some currency arrangements. My husband had become busy with work and making such a schedule would have been impossible time-wise so he withdrew the notice soon afterward anyway.... but the point remains that the inquiry sounded rather strange to us. Taking charge of a young person's upbringing in the absence of relatives living locally sounded unadvisable to say the least.

I can't give you the details, because the email was deleted many months ago, I'm just posting to let you know that we did indeed receive a strange sounding request for instruction with complicated payment offers which I don't really remember.

But yes, thanks so much for posting here and I am posting a validation of your warning: Yes such schemes seem to be going around....
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:07 AM   #4
David Maidment
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 149
United Kingdom
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Re: Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

I don't get it... You can write any amount you wish on a cheque; why wouldn't the request for 'change' set off a huge red flag in even the dimmest of folk?

"Never escalate a battle unless forced to do so by your enemy" - Zordon
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:54 AM   #5
mathewjgano
 
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Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
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Re: Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

Sometimes people just aren't thinking skeptically...and some people are more trusting than others. My wife's grandmother was recently called by someone saying my wife's brother was in jail and needed 3000 in bail. In this case they were preying on a 93 year old lady, and while for most of us it was instantly recognized as a fraud, she was too busy worrying about the possibility a relative was in need. The fraud had a list of family member names in order to try to show some kind of "inside" knowledge, but in this day and age with facebook, etc. Information is easy to come by.
My mom had someone fom London say "she" was looking to rent a room and her uncle would send money. I was instantly suspicious and demanded a phone number to call. Interestingly enough the "girl" was always away and some drunk dude answered. I sent the info to the FBI but heard no response. If you want good examples of common scams just send your email out to myspace advertizements and the like. Your junk mail box will be filled with people from all over the world who have amazing gifts to give you; long lost bank accounts, wealthy relatives, and business opportunities will suddenly promise to rain gold on you. I can only imagine these things are so plentiful because some poor few percent of people fall for it. When you grow up in a culture with plenty of fraud it's not too hard to recognize, but if you're distracted by something (usually an emotional trigger) or too trusting, it's not that hard to see what you want.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:22 PM   #6
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 988
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Re: Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

Along the same lines, members of another forum I read were recently informed that a well-loved forum member had been mugged and was lying -- seriously injured and alone -- in a London hospital, desperately needing money to save him from his predicament. How it was that he had access to email and the internet but not to his normal sources of support was never explained...

Needless to say, the forum member was safe at home and completely fine, except that someone had broken into his email and Facebook accounts.

Strong passwords are good.

Katherine
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:19 AM   #7
jimbaker
Dojo: Aikido of Norfolk/ Aikido Society of Memphis
Location: Norfolk, VA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 150
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Re: Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

The emails go out about once a year; we got ours yesterday:

"My Name is John Williams.I want to book for 3 weeks classes/training, 2 hours each day Monday to Saturday (morning hours) for a group of 10 Males (Ages 27-31). We will be coming for a one month vacation/holiday from 25th November 2011 and will require 3 weeks training on Wrestling or Taekwondo or any other Gym Fitness you can offer to help keep fitness due to the nature of our job and also to make our stay fun.

Kindly get back to me with the cost for the training and also confirm if you can arrange a one on one training for each student or if its better in group, then get back to me with the total cost for all the lessons.

I don't know if you need additional instructors to help you in this classes or you can arrange for all arrangements your self, note that we are group of workers from Iraq and works on an off shore firm on a high sea (oil rig) so all payments will have to be done via credit cards and hope this will not pose any problem to you. Do your place accept credit cards as mode of payments? Waiting to hear from you with the confirmation and total cost for this training.

Regards"

Jim Baker
Aikido of Norfolk
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Old 10-15-2011, 03:13 PM   #8
mickeygelum
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Dojo: Warren Budokan, Ohio USA
Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 502
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Re: Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

This has been going on for about ten years....
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:18 PM   #9
Lyle Laizure
 
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Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 560
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Re: Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

Quote:
Jim Baker wrote: View Post
"My Name is John Williams.I want to book for 3 weeks classes/training, 2 hours each day Monday to Saturday (morning hours) for a group of 10 Males (Ages 27-31). We will be coming for a one month vacation/holiday from 25th November 2011 and will require 3 weeks training on Wrestling or Taekwondo or any other Gym Fitness you can offer to help keep fitness due to the nature of our job and also to make our stay fun.

Kindly get back to me with the cost for the training and also confirm if you can arrange a one on one training for each student or if its better in group, then get back to me with the total cost for all the lessons.

I don't know if you need additional instructors to help you in this classes or you can arrange for all arrangements your self, note that we are group of workers from Iraq and works on an off shore firm on a high sea (oil rig) so all payments will have to be done via credit cards and hope this will not pose any problem to you. Do your place accept credit cards as mode of payments? Waiting to hear from you with the confirmation and total cost for this training.

Regards"
Exactly. LOL. I received this one a couple of weeks ago. I simply declined.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:36 AM   #10
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
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Re: Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

Any fool who fell for this one needs to buy a bridge I have for sale . Last year, I was sadly surprised that when I responded to that clown that my daily charge was $10,000 per day, one week minimum, cash up front in non-sequential $20's and $50's, that this clown did not respond back to me..... .

Marc Abrams
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:31 AM   #11
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,799
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Re: Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Any fool who fell for this one needs to buy a bridge I have for sale .
Marc Abrams
have no use for bridge. tunnels, on the other hands, are useful. got any?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:43 AM   #12
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
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Re: Prepayment Fraud - Dojo Chos Beware

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Any fool who fell for this one needs to buy a bridge I have for sale .

Marc Abrams
Aha! So you are the one that stole the bridge!

$100K Steel Bridge Dismantled, Stolen From Rural Area
http://www.wtae.com/news/29413287/detail.html

Seriously, someone stole a bridge! I couldn't believe it myself when I first heard about it.
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