reminder about scams, a little further detail

Mike Arman Armanmik at
Mon Jun 15 12:56:19 PDT 2009

> reminder about scams
> To: quattro at
> Agreed and would add that most of these scams are founded on a bogus bank
> check.  NEVER allow anything that belongs to you (e.g. money or property) to
> leave your possession unless and until your bank informs you that the check
> has completely cleared.  In other words the issuing bank has sent to the
> funds to your bank and you know for certain the money is there.

Problem is that the bank will tell you it HAS cleared and then three weeks later inform you that it 
was subsequently not honored by the issuing bank (if there even is one).

The scammers are playing the float between the time you deposit the check and the time it bounces.

Note carefully - ALL BANK CREDITS TO YOUR ACCOUNT ARE CONDITIONAL - just because the bank "tells" 
you the check has cleared, it can still blow up in your face later. Even "irrevocable" wire 
transfers can be reversed - BofA does this automatically, on request of the sending bank, with NO 
notice or appeal, the only way you find out is "you're $$$$$$$$$$$$ overdrawn, we charge you XXXX." 
Some other banks will at least let you know there's a problem, a very few of them will ask if you 
want to send the money back or not.

Now you have to reimburse the bank, or if you have an offset agreement (you likely do, read the very 
small print on your account agreement) they can take it out of any or all of your other accounts at 
that bank or at other branches of it to remedy the overdraft - the fact that you can't make your 
car/phone/electric/mortgage/credit card payment because all your accounts are at zero or below isn't 
their problem.

For this reason, I always encourage my clients to have another bank account in a different bank (not 
different branch of the same bank, a totally different bank) and have some money in it at all times. 
It doesn't even have to be a very active account - but it may save your financial hide if you have 
the bad fortune to get scammed by this or any number of other assaults on your bank accounts, both 
from inside or outside the bank itself.

For example, a lost debit card could clean out your accounts (Remember the offset agreement! You 
signed it . . . ) and it is a lot more stressful to fix this if you have NO money available to run 
your life than if you have some money in an emergency stash at a different bank.

"Mr. Sutton, why do you rob banks?"

"Because that's where the money is."

Nowadays only total beginners and rank amateurs use guns for this. If the bank robber is in a 
different country or on a different continent, he may never even get caught. Banks tend to hush this 
up because if we discovered and realized how unsafe OUR money is "safe in the bank", we'd probably 
go back to keeping it in a mattress.

This is 25 years of experience in banking, finance, international business and internet speaking, I 
don't know if it is important to you now, but it might be ;-)

Best Regards,

Mike Arman

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