Sunday, February 07, 2010

Be wary of check processing job scams!

MSN/Dell is warning the public about “payment processing” job scams where the “home worker” deposits a fraudulent check to the bank, takes a commission, and then wires money to the “employer”. For a short period of time, the bank is required to honor the amount, so this scheme has become an attractive scam, attracting people looking for work. The link is here.

Kathryn Reynolds Lewis (MSN Money) has the story “Cash a check, maybe go to jail: Did you get conned into joining a check-cashing scam? Even if authorities decide you're an innocent victim, you could find yourself owing a bank thousands of dollars.”

In a few cases, check processors have been threatened with prosecution, which would be possible if they knew that it was a fraud or should reasonably have known. They will wind up with liability for the money and could have their accounts frozen.

Some of these jobs have been offered on Craigslist.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Reviewing the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998

I don’t think that I’ve explicitly covered the legal basis for prosecutions for “identity theft” in federal law, but one of the most important tools is the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, Public Law 105-318, 112 Stat. 3007 (Oct. 30, 1998), Public Law 105-318, 112 Stat. 3007 (Oct. 30, 1998), HR 4151.

The FTC maintains a copy of the text of the statute at this link.

The site has a better description than Wikipedia, with the (web URL) link here.

The law is criticized as not offering individual victims the right to collect civil damages for their time and inconvenience and disruption; instead institutions are compensated, and individuals must depend on law enforcement to bring about prosecutions.

The articles refer to a controversial Federal Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982, which was supposed to assist victims and witnesses to crimes, but more often in criminal investigation and testimony situations, familiar in the movies. A link that summarizes many of these laws is at DOJ here.

A simpler reference is here.