CALGARY - A 32-year-old man is accused of using fake identification to pass stolen or phoney cheques at 13 Calgary bank branches.
Police say the suspect was charged with 16 fraud-related offences following a six-month investigation.
Police say a man used false government IDs for a year to create aliases which allowed him to deposit hundreds of stolen or fabricated cheques.
In what is termed "kiting," the man then withdrew funds in cash before the bad cheques were detected by the bank.
A total of $250,000 was transferred between branches using automated teller machines and Internet banking transfers — the loss to the bank is estimated at $35,000.
Charges against Lamin Krubally of Calgary include fraud over $5,000, uttering false documents, unlawful use of credit cards and possession of stolen property.
Advance Fee Fraud
<strong><u>The Scam</u></strong>: The con artist sends a letter or email -- purportedly only to a few recipients but actually to several thousand -- making an offer that would result in a large payoff for the victim. The details vary, but generally the story is that a person, often the wife or son of a deposed African dictator, knows about some unclaimed fortune that they are willing to share with the scam victim in return for an advanced fee (e.g. bail money for the imprisoned millionaire). Once money starts coming in, the con artist will continue asking for more, claiming that problems have arisen. <strong><u>How To Protect Yourself</u></strong>: <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/fraud#419" target="_hplink">The FBI advises</a> that if you "receive a letter from Nigeria asking you to send personal or banking information, send the letter to the U.S. Secret Service, your local FBI office or U.S. Postal Inspection Service." You can also register a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission's Complaint Assistant <a href="http://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
<strong><u>The Scam</u></strong>: Criminals set up craigslist accounts advertising the sale of desirable items (e.g. cars, computers, iPhones) at too good to be true prices. A meeting is set up with the victim in a remote location where they're robbed upon arrival. <strong><u>How To Protect Yourself</u></strong>: <a href="http://encino.patch.com/articles/police-on-alert-after-increase-in-vehicle-theft-armed-robberies-craigslist-scams-and-coyote-attacks" target="_hplink">Detective Frank Avila of the West Valley LAPD</a> advises "good places to meet are local police stations or malls. Criminals are less likely to conduct crimes or illegal activity in public areas where lots of people are present."
Prize And Sweepstakes Fraud
<strong><u>The Scam</u></strong>: The victim is contacted and informed that they've won some sort of free gift, vacation or prize but that they have to pay "postage and handling" or some sort of tax before they receive their reward. <strong><u>How To Protect Yourself</u></strong>: If you've legitimately won something, you should never have to pay any sum to receive it. It's almost impossible to get your money back if you've been cheated over the phone, so before you buy anything by telephone, remember not to buy from unfamiliar companies, always ask for and wait until you receive written material about an offer and always check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency. <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/fraud#419" target="_hplink">From the FBI</a>: "Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply."
Low-Risk, High-Return Scams
<strong><u>The Scam</u></strong>: The con artist, acting on behalf of a fake company, promises a sage investment with ridiculous returns for the victim. The fake company takes the money, but no investment is made. Instead the money goes into their pockets -- and disappears just as quickly as the company soon will. The old adage holds true: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. <strong><u>How To Protect Yourself</u></strong>: <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/fraud" target="_hplink">According to the FBI</a>: "Do not invest in anything unless you understand the deal. Con artists rely on complex transactions and fault logic to 'explain' fraudulent investment schemes." Always be wary of any investment that offers the promise of extremely high yields.
<strong><u>The Scam</u></strong>: Homeowners are distracted by an individual while other sneak into their homes, stealing valuables, cash and jewelry. The ruse burglary can take place under the guise of a gas leak that needs to be stopped, a tree next door that needs trimming but must be reached fromt he angle of a neighbor's lawn, or indeed anything that will result in the preoccupation of a resident while they are unknowingly robbed by other accomplices. Ruse burglaries sometimes lead to home invasion situations that can pose the risk of assault or other violent crimes taking place. <strong><u>How To Protect Yourself</u></strong>: If someone is asking you to step outside of your home for any reason, don't. Instead, offer to call 911 for them. If someone claims they need to do urgent work on behalf of a utility company, call the utility company and verify the work.