Every time I hear of a fraud that occurred to someone I know or a potential client I cringe. There is someone, oftentimes with a high intelligence level/a lot of free time taking advantage of another person who has usually worked hard for the money which the fraudster steals.

One such case involved a rash of thefts from local gyms. The fraudster would lurk in locker rooms and take the combination code from someone’s locker. Then when the member goes to work out the thief breaks into the locker. They overlook cash, smartphones and other ID cards to take credit cards.

Of course, when they try to charge tens of thousands of dollars the credit card companies flag the purchases. But the aggravation factor is huge as the victim has to contact law enforcement, change their cards and recurring purchases and make sure their passwords and other security information if secure. Not to mention the emotional energy and grief caused.

Scheme: fake deposits to your bank account:

My client is a small tech company who used Chase Bank. They had a ‘customer’ from overseas place an order for approximately $5,000. Because it was a new customer they required the business to prepay for the purchase. They gave their wire instructions and awaited payment. A few days later, the fraudster mailed a check for approximately $100,000 from a US address to the bank with vague instructions. The bank deposited the check and it of course bounced a few days later. In the meantime the fraudster asked for $90,000 be returned to them.

The whole charade cost the business their banking relationship with Chase, as Chase flagged the account as high risk. The business had to change banks, which created a disruption. Chase initially didn’t want to release the business’s funds, recurring charges had to be changed and there was a period of time in which no debit card was available, so services were disrupted.

Definitely huge headache-causers.