Counterfeit check scams
Scammers sometimes send counterfeit checks in the mail completely unsolicited, or they may send the check after engaging the recipient in a fraudulent conversation via email. They have learned that having a conversation with a target over the phone can increase trust and advance the scheme more easily. A counterfeit check scam may involve someone from a fraudulent company calling random people on a call list and making the call recipient a false offer such as the chance to claim a lottery winnings check. The person receives the counterfeit check in the mail and is then asked to deposit the check and send money back to the company to cover fees. If the victim deposits the check, he or she will eventually discover that the check is not authentic. By the time time the bank alerts the victim, he or she has likely already sent the company the requested funds to cover “fees,” which are ultimately deducted from the victim’s levees balance before depositing the fraudulent check.
Guaranteed government grant scams
The government grant scam promises free money from the government for a specified purpose, predetermined by the scammer. Fictitious government grants cited by fraudulent callers have included free money to start a business, go back to school, purchase or renovate a house, or to enter a certain career field. Upon verbally accepting the nonexistent grant, the call recipient is then told to provide his or her banking information to allow the fraudster to transfer the grant money. If the person provides his or her bank account number, he or she never receives the money, but instead loses his or her own funds when the imposter makes a withdrawal from the victim’s account.
Office supply schemes against Florida businesses
Some individuals and criminal organizations target businesses by posing as representatives from a major office equipment supplier. The caller first attempts to verify the type of office equipment the business has on site then offers the business complementary or replacement equipment at liquidation prices for a “limited time.” The business feels rushed into making a hasty decision and agrees to purchase the equipment. Once the newly purchased supplies arrive, the business discovers that the supplies are either of a poor quality, or they may even damage the company’s existing equipment. By the time the company discovers it has been targeted by a company that has no affiliation with the true office equipment supplier, the fraudsters have received payment, and the company has likely violated repair warranties on their existing equipment.
Why is it a federal crime?
West Palm Beach residents who are convicted of telemarketing fraud may be sentenced to years in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution. Under certain circumstances, sentencing may be enhanced. If the scheme targeted or affected victims who were 55 years or older at the time of the phone contact, a person convicted of this type of crime may be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in federal prison. In some cases, unsuspecting people may become involved in a telemarketing scam and may be investigated by law enforcement. Many companies that advance telemarketing schemes employ everyday people to make the phone calls and to collect information. Therefore, an employee who is completely unaware of how the company uses the information he or she is in charge of collecting may also face a federal fraud accusation.
Know what to do if you’re arrested
Suddenly being contacted by the federal government can be an alarming experience. Nevertheless, the best response is to stay calm, decline to speak to law enforcement without legal representation, and to then immediately contact a West Palm Beach telemarketing fraud lawyer. Everyone has the right to have a federal criminal lawyer present during voluntary police interviews, even if an arrest has been made. Having an attorney present is within the interest of individuals who have been formally accused of a crime and even those who suspect they may be under preliminary investigation. Contacting a defense attorney does not automatically insinuate guilt, but having a lawyer present can prevent law enforcement overreach and ultimately serve to protect the the client’s constitutional rights. Enlisting the help of a West Palm Beach telemarketing fraud lawyer is as easy as simply making a call to the law office. A staff member will conduct a free case evaluation, and an a defense attorney will follow up to better explain the implications of the case and to help the individual determine the most favorable legal options. Fighting a federal fraud charge in court is not a challenge anyone should attempt to undertake alone. Even people who may have played a limited role in the case should first speak with a West Palm Beach defense attorney to determine the best approach to clearing the individual’s name.