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.
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.
DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general information and a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone a specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice that the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professional and competent legal advice by a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide competent professional information, however, the law and its applications may change frequently and vary greatly from other U.S. jurisdictions and locales. Therefore, any information and materials provided above are general in nature, and may not apply to specific factual and legal circumstances related to oneâ€™s personal legal issues. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State under an attorney-client privilege to further receive a competent legal advice before making any important decisions about your particular legal issue. For further inquiries please contact: Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko 1021 West Adams, 102, Chicago, Illinois 60607 773-562-8602 http://alexanderivakhnenko.com
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.
This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.