If you think that banks are the safest place to keep your money, I am afraid that I will have to break your illusion. So far the total vulnerable amount over the world has exceeded $100,000. There are crooks all over the banking world who is constantly spying on your transactions. I hope this article will help you to protect the consumers and the companies as well.
This incident is of about two weeks ago. I received a phone call to my company from some women in Canada enquiring me about receiving $5,000 as payment for a car she was selling on Craig’s List. She informed that the check was written from my company and therefore wanted to cross refer. I was bewildered. My response was definitely no.
I immediately logged into my account and saw a number of fake checks. And this particular one for $4,100 has already been cleared from our company’s account. I contacted Bank of Canada without any further delay implemented the following:
- Closed the 10 year old account.
- Opened a new account.
- Got a complete refund by the bank for the full counterfeited amount.
- Had to replace two legitimate checks written to my vendors that had not yet been cleared by the bank.
- Had to change all the ACH accounts that I used for automatic funds transfers to and from my business account.
- Handed over the matter to the F.B.I.
- Total time wasted of my company during all of these hassle: about 5 hours.
- However it did not cost me any dollar. Bank of Canada offered to cover any and all costs I might suffer from returned check.
Based on a dozen calls that I answered from other check recipients, I came to the conclusion that this crook was trying to buy used cars from listings all over Canada –from Ontario to Quebec to Nova Scotia. All of his scams were found in the Craig’s List.
I was still on the safe side. But, unfortunately, the individuals selling their cars were the ones at heavy risk. Bank of Canada did not suffer any loss as they simply reversed the deposit on the unsuspecting sellers who deposited those with assurance. Hopefully, some sellers were smart enough to wait until the check cleared the bank.
Bear in mind, once the crook has your account information; he almost doesn’t care if the account has no money or is closed. He can still keep issuing counterfeit checks.
Keep this in mind as it is very important. Once the crook takes possession of your account information, he almost doesn’t care if the account has zero balance or is closed. He can still keep issuing counterfeit checks.
While digging into the matter by myself to find out the core, I found that our weakness was in our own company website. Two of my companies, Multi Resource and Motion Company University, have international clients for our consulting that specializes in helping start up companies and their CEOs. As a result of which most of them preferred wire funds instead of using credit cards or mailing checks.
We, too post wiring instructions on our web site much like other small or big companies. And a part of this wiring instruction includes the account number and the routing number. This information along with the company name and address are the main ingredient that the crooks looks for to produce fake checks.
If you too have experienced the same, I strongly suggest you to do exactly what I have done and remove the information at the earliest.