April Fraud Alert
Criminals in Nigeria and the United States are mailing or couriering counterfeit travelers cheques to U.S. consumers either unsolicited or in settlement of goods including internet orders, rental deposits and others. The cheques are sent along with a request that the accompanying cheques be cashed, a percentage of the value retained for the recipient’s benefit, and the balance remitted to addresses mainly in Nigeria/West Africa.
The scam also affects merchants. Criminals or consumers are attempting to use the counterfeit cheques for merchandise and receiving cash for the balance. According to reports from U.S. merchants, the criminals then attempt to return the merchandise for cash.
Key features of the counterfeit travelers cheque in circulation:
- Mostly in $500 denomination and the majority include the AAA personalization.
- Colors are poorly reproduced and in particular the gold in the Visa logo is a saturated yellow.
- The holographic thread is visible from the top to the bottom of the travelers cheque unlike that on a genuine item which is only partly visible on the cheque
Samples of a generic genuine travelers cheque and of a travelers cheque with the AAA personalization are displayed below:
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