EVERYBODY CHEXK THIS OUT!!
Woman Gets Two Years for Aiding Nigerian Internet Check Scam
- A Washington woman was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in prison
and five years of supervised release for her role in an Internet
counterfeit check scheme.
Edna Fiedler pleaded guilty in March to attempting to defraud U.S.
citizens in a scheme known as a Nigerian check scam.
Fiedler helped her accomplices in Nigeria send fake checks to people
who had agreed to cash the checks on behalf of the sender, keeping some
of the proceeds and sending the rest back.
The Nigerians found people willing to cash the fake checks via e-mail.
They would send their names as well as fake documents that looked like
Wal-Mart money orders, Bank of America checks, U.S. Postal Service
checks and American Express traveler's checks to Fiedler. They told her
how to fill out the checks and where to send them.
The recipients most likely thought they were helping out someone who
needed a person in the U.S. to cash a check for them, according to the
U.S. Department of Justice. They were able to get the money by cashing
the checks, and sent most of it to either Fiedler or her Nigerian
accomplices. However, once the checks were discovered to be fake, the
people who cashed them were responsible for the full amount.
All told, Fiedler sent out US$609,000 worth of phony checks and money
orders. When U.S. Secret Service agents investigating the case searched
Fiedler's house, they found additional fake checks worth more than $1.1
million that she was preparing to send out.
At a recent conference in Seattle, a representative from the U.S.
Postal Service and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna
described ways they're working to shut down these kinds of scams,
particularly because they often involve people who don't realize that
they're taking part in illegal activities.
The U.S. Postal Service recently sent 15 postal investigators to Lagos,
Nigeria, and during a three-month period there, they helped intercept
counterfeit checks, lottery tickets and eBay overpayment schemes with a
face value of $2.1 billion, Chris Siouris, a cyber investigator at the
U.S. Postal Inspector, said at the recent conference. Siouris, McKenna
and others are pushing for ways to better educate Internet users so
that people don't unwittingly help out in these kinds of e-mail scams.