We were recently
the target of an internet horse purchase scam. This attempt was not successful as I receognized the cashier's check
as a forged document. I was able to recognize this as a forged document due to the fact that I am a forgery detective
with our local police department, however, this was a very good quality forgery. This cashier's check even had the watermark
on the back of the document. To the untrained eye this would most likely appear to be a good document.
This scam is a fairly good one and if you are not a suspicious
person you may fall victim as I have learned two people in our area have. The contact usually comes in the form of an
email from an interested party from another country. This person will tell you they have a client in your country or
relatively close that owes them money so they will have this client draft a cashier's check and mail this to your location.
Upon receipt of this cashier's check they will expect you to contact them to make arrangements for shipment of the animal
or product. The check will show an amount of the purchase price and the price of shipment. Sometimes these people
will ask you to wire them the money minus your price for the animal or product. Other times these people will have another
party who is not aware of the forgery come to your location and receive the money advising you that the shipment company will
make contact with you within a few days. This person is usually around college age and only knows that they were asked
to pick up money from you and advise you of shipment company contact. They will not be prosecuted due to their lack
of knowledge of the crime. Most of the time these people do not pick up the item they attempted to purchase but sometimes
they will. In our case they attempted to purchase a horse for $2000 and made the cashier's check for $6000 wanting us
to wire $4000 to an address in London. If they would have wanted to pick up the animal and we would have fallen victim
we would have been out the animal and once the check returned as forged we would have been minus $4000 to boot.
This is a world wide ring operating in many different countries
including our neighboring country of Canada. The ring is primarily Nigerian. The FBI is unable to prosecute thus
far as no suspects have been apprehended on American soil and the Nigerian government is uncooperative and will not lend
the assistance needed to the United States Government and other countries for the capture and prosecution of these criminals.
Millions of dollars every year from several countries are funneled through these scams to Nigeria and with no justice
thus far for the victims. If you believe you are being approached by one of these criminals, please use extreme caution
in your dealings with them. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true then it most likely is. If you would like
further information, or believe you have been contacted by one of these criminals and would like advise, or if you have further
information that would assist in the capture and/or prosecution of these criminals then please feel free to contact me at
home at (903) 675-1155 after 5 PM or at my office between the hours of 8 AM to 5 PM at (903) 677-6654.
James M. Bonnette