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Can I sue a company for check/bank fraud?

Escondido, CA |

I just got a letter and a check in the mail saying I won $85,000, was sent a "Wells Fargo" check for $3,920, was told I had to pay $1,980 for non resident taxes to UK and that I would receive the additional $81,080 after those taxes were paid. Normally, I don't tend to fall for things like this, but the check looked legit. I even called the "agent" number below to verify and get instructions. Luckily for me, the check was issued to the same bank I use, so I went into the branch to cash it, then deposit in my account. That's where they told me it was a fraudulent check. I have the copies of the check and letter, the bank has the originals. I don't want others to fall for this and would like to know if I can seek action to not let this happen to anyone else.

One of the ways I thought this was legit was because they also mention that I won "by shopping in one or more of the selected stores in North America; Wal-Mart, Sears, Walgreens, Kmart, Costco, Staples, Home Depot, Office Depot, etc" which puts good name companies involved in this fraudulent scheme. When I asked the bank how a company could get away with this, they said that some people would just deposit the check via atm possibly, then get nailed with the $1,980 "tax fee." But, I think people might suffer worse fates from this scam and they should be stopped!

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Yes, you might be able to bring a civil lawsuit, but quite frankly, you won't likely be able to collect your judgment.

I suggest you report this scam to your local law enforcement agency. There are many of these criminal scams going around.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

Posted

That seems to be the realm of civil practice to examine your case for possible merits of a civil legal action. Please commit to consulting with a licensed civil attorney in your area on every detail of your narrative for a better understanding whether you have a meritorious claim.

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Posted

Don't waste your time or money. These people operate in the shadows and from foreign locations where no judgment could be collected if you got one. Your best approach would be to turn it over to the police who can route it to the place where tens of thousands of these cases are being handled. I am very happy for you that you did not lose money. I know of a case where an attorney was duped into putting such a check into his trust account and lost over $150,000 of his other client's money in the scam.

Good luck to you.

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