BUSINESS CHEQUE SCAM

BC Crime Prevention Association warns businesses of counterfeit cheque scam

Burnaby, British Columbia: The BC Crime Prevention Association (BCCPA) is warning businesses about the continuing dangers of accepting large cheques drawn on overseas financial institutions, especially from first-time customers who have no established payment history with that business.

In a recent incident, the owner of Nicki Harris Productions, in Surrey, was defrauded of $6,000 as part of a fabricated large-scale Vancouver wedding in which a United Arab Emirates customer spoke of spending up to $135,000. The customer provided this business with an $85,000 cashier?s cheque as a down payment for the event, which subsequently was deposited by the business. The customer then claimed a preferred Dubai photographer they were using required an advance payment from the business of $6,000 as a condition of his contract. Nicki Harris Productions complied with this advance payment request, before the cashier?s cheque down payment provided by the customer was returned from the bank as a counterfeit item.

A BCCPA Fraud Alert on this incident can be found at www.bccpa.org/pdf/news%20room/BCCPAFraudAlert06212006.pdf.

Executive Director, Valerie MacLean comments, ?This is a perfect example of where the phrase: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is applies! Businesses must be on their guard and proceed cautiously checking every step throughout their transactions with a first-time customer.?

Jeff Burton, BCCPA?s Fraud Prevention Liaison, explains, ?This is a classic scam. The huge sum of money the fraudster planned to invest in the wedding caused any suspicion to be wiped off the radar screen of the victim business.?

BCCPA is a province-wide integrated team of citizens, businesses and police dedicated to preventing crime through community partnerships. Through effective community partnerships and province-wide education, together we can improve community safety through the reduction of crime. Please visit www.bccpa.org to learn more about crime prevention and community safety initiatives delivered through the BCCPA.