New Email Scam on Recording Studios

This one through facebook from a “music artist” named Talawa Joseph:

hi richard my name is talawa a music artist from kenya nairobi.i would like to know what does it take for a music artist to work with you? i will be greatfull to get your reply

Unlike earlier forms of 419 scam, these folks are actively searching and sending emails directly. A few more details on what to expect. The scam is basically an overpayment with a request for the service provider to return the difference.

From Wikipedia

Fake checks

Fraudulent checks and money orders are key elements in many advance-fee scams, such as auction/classified listing overpayment, lottery scams, inheritance scams, etc, and can be used in almost any scam when a “payment” to the victim is required to gain, regain or further solidify the victims’ trust and confidence in the validity of the scheme.

The use of checks in a scam hinges on a US law (and common practice in other countries) concerning checks: when an account holder presents a check for deposit or to cash, the bank must (or in other countries, usually) make the funds available to the account holder within 1-5 business days, regardless of how long it actually takes for the check to clear and funds to be transferred from the issuing bank.[27] The checks clearing process normally takes 7”“10 days and can in fact take up to a month when dealing with foreign banks. The time between the funds appearing as available to the account holder and the check clearing is known as the “float”, during which time the bank could technically be said to have floated a loan to the account holder to be covered with the funds from the bank clearing the check.

The check given to the victim is typically counterfeit but drawn on a real account with real funds in it. With a piece of software like QuickBooks and/or pre-printed blank check stock, using the correct banking information, the scammer can easily print a check that is absolutely genuine-looking, passes all counterfeit tests, and may even clear the paying account if the account information is accurate and the funds are available. However, whether it clears or not, it eventually becomes apparent either to the bank or the account holder that the check is a forgery. This can be as little as three days after the funds are available if the bank supposedly covering the check discovers the check information is invalid, or it could take months for a business or individual to notice the fraudulent draft on their account. It has been suggested that in some cases the check is genuine – however the fraudster has a friend (or bribes an official) at the paying bank to claim it is a fake weeks or even months later when the physical checks arrives back at the paying bank.

Regardless of the amount of time involved, once the cashing bank is alerted that the check is fraudulent, the transaction is reversed and the money removed from the victim’s account. In many cases, this puts victims in debt to their banks as the victim has usually sent a large portion of the check by some non-reversible ‘wire transfer’ means (typically Western Union) to the scammer and, since more uncollected funds have been sent than funds otherwise present in the victim’s account, an overdraft results.

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