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Scam travelling across country

Manawatu Standard
25 May 2010

A well-organised travellers cheque scam is once again doing the rounds nationally and naive and vulnerable people are being targeted, Neighbourhood Support warns.

In two reported cases, one victim responded to a situation vacant advert in The Dominion Post while the other victim struck up an online relationship over a New Zealand dating website.

The first woman was led to believe she was being employed as a customer service surveyor targeting post offices and their Western Union money transfer system.

The email communications were professional and she was even contacted by telephone.

She received forged 500 Amex travellers cheques with instructions to cash them, keeping a small retainer for herself and sending the balance via Western Union to a person in England.

The second woman struck up an online relationship over a New Zealand dating website with a man who said he was a New Zealander currently in Africa.

The scammer said he had people in New Zealand that owed him money and were going to pay him back. He would arrange for these people to send money to her and then asked her to send the money via Western Union to a London address belonging to his daughter.

The victim received 500 Amex travellers cheques, cashed them and forwarded the money via Western Union as instructed.

Neighbourhood Support warns people not to become involved in transactions like this. They are scams. The old adage applies. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Anyone being offered deals involving travellers cheques and money transference should contact the police.


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