Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Riding Instructor - SCAM

I would just like to pass this around. I assure you it is 100% true. This is not one of those stupid forwards, I Deanna Castro am writing this warning myself.

There is a scam going on to con riding instructors out of money. I am sure this can be used in other areas of the horse industry as well, so please read carefully.

The riding school or instructor is contacted by a foreign "wealthy business man" who's son or daughter is staying in the country, while the parents are out of the country. The father would like the son to become a horse trainer, and wants to train three (or whatever number he chooses) days per week. The father sets up lessons for six months, a year, whatever of lessons and wants to "pay in advance".

A check is then sent to the instructor for thousands of dollars more than the agreed upon amount. Guess what happens next? The father asks for the refund of the over paid money. The check is a cashier check so it's as good as cash right? Wrong. It's a fake, and it takes two to three weeks for the check to clear, so the bank does not realize the mistake right away. The cash is given to the instructor when the check is cashed. The bank later notifies the instructor that the check was fake, and the money is owed back to the bank.

In the mean time, the instructor would have paid thousands of dollars to the con artist, and be investigated for fraud, him or herself. What a nightmare!

The moral of the story, if someone contacts you for a product or services and sends a check there are some red flags to look out for:
  • Check is sent regular post
  • Check has no account number, address, or telephone number
  • Routing number does not exist or belongs to a different bank
  • Routing number has too many or too little digits
  • Check is in an amount excess to an agreed upon price
  • Check does not have a perforation on at least one side
I would also suggest, calling the institution that issued the check, comparing the check number etc. You can even fax a copy of the check to the bank to be sure it is legitimate. Get the phone number for the institution from the internet, not the check itself because the scam artist could be the one that set up a fake number and answers the phone!

Pass this on to all your contacts in the horse industry.



Laura Thompson said...

Thanks for the heads up - I placed a notice on my blog and credited you as my source. It's amazing what these people will do to make a buck, but I guess we all have to be careful these days.

Anonymous said...

I actually got this email about 2 weeks ago. Thank God I had enough sense to just delete it right away.

EquineSpirit said...

Back when I was running my cattery I had countless people contact me via email asking me to ship a cat to place "x" when they lived in place "y" and they'd have a "friend" pick up said cat. These people would want to pay via cashiers check and wanted me to send the overpaid amount with the shipped cat. And not once did they ask about my cats, the lines in which I was working with, personality, vetting, cost, etc. Ummmm...don't think so! My cattery's email delete button and "block" was used a LOT back then...LOL!

Deanna said...

Hi Laura, I'm glad you posted it! I would hate for anyone to be taken advantage of by these crazy people.

Sang21Ferret, Awesome catch there!

Hi Equine Spirit, Do these people have no shame? I just got an e-mail saying if I don't send $5000 that they will kill me. It is supposedly from a "hit man" that was hired to get rid of me. OK, sure, even though the e-mail was addressed to many people, with no names lol... I signed up for some third party texting on my phone service, and I guess they sold my e-mail address because daily I have "won the Nigerian lottery". It's crazy how stupid these people think we are!

UGH. Oh well, stay scam free all.


Horse Dealer said...

This scam is running through the horse classified sites as well. Please be very cautious and let the authorities know right away if you notice any of the red flags. These people will stop at nothing.

Horse Dealer said...

This scam is running through the horse classified sites as well. Please be very cautious and let the authorities know right away if you notice any of these red flags. These people will stop at nothing to steal your money.