Money order fraud is a type of white collar crime involving the issuance of fake or fraudulent money orders. They may be individualized crimes originating from one person, but more typically involve an entire scheme created by a group of persons. Money order fraud is nearly identical to some forms of check fraud.
Most money order fraud schemes involve the use of forged money orders that are drawn on overseas bank accounts. The victim may be presented with a money order that is held out as “good as cash”. The victim may then deposit the money order into their own personal bank account, and the check may initially clear.
The fraudster(s) may then require some form of payment or withdrawal from the victim, who later discovers that the money order was forged and thus loses some amount of their own money. This is because the payment may be required before the bank discovers that the money order was fraudulent.
There are many other forms of money order fraud besides the use of forged money orders. Some of these may include:
There may be several other types of money order fraud schemes in circulation. Many of them are accomplished through the use of e-mail and internet mechanisms. Other types of money order fraud may involve the acquisition of a person’s personal information or forgery in order to cash in a valid money order without the victim’s authorization.
Most instances of money order fraud are classified as white collar crime, which is punishable under criminal laws. The legal consequences can include criminal penalties such as fines and jail sentences. Also, the fraudster may be subject to civil liability, and may have to reimburse the victim for any losses that they can prove.
Thus, it’s important to protect yourself when presented with any offers for money or if you are being asked to provide financial assistance. Be sure to verify that the operation or organization is legitimate, and don’t respond to any correspondences that seem suspicious.
If you’re unsure of the legal status of an offer or transaction, you may wish to consult with an attorney before proceeding to take action. Lastly, be especially cautious when it comes to dealing with investors or business operations that originate outside of the U.S., as liability laws may be different for overseas entities.
Money order fraud is quickly becoming a serious problem, and the number of schemes is steadily increasing each year. If you have any legal issues or disputes involving money order fraud, it’s in your best interest to contact a lawyer immediately. An experienced attorney can advise you of the different laws in your area, and can represent you court if you have to file a lawsuit.
Last Modified: 07-05-2012 03:14 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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