I have been wondering for a while if warning signs would help to stop people from becoming victims of these scams. Or would a warning sign be too little too late?
I know that back when we fell victim to the counterfeit cashier’s check scam, if I would have seen a sign at the bank that said “Money from cashier’s checks are made available for use in 24 hours, but the customer is still liable for the money until the time that the check is honored from the issuing bank. This process could take 10 business days or more.” I would have stopped right there and we would have NOT taken any money out of our account for well over 10 days. My husband and I actually agreed that what ever time period the bank told us to wait, we would double it.
Or at the store where we wired the money . . . if there was a sign that said “Be aware of scams involving counterfeit cashier’s checks being sent for payment on items bought online. The checks will be for more than the selling amount and you will be asked to wire the difference to someone.” We would have never wired the money.
Now, some say that by the time a person gets a check in their hands or is at the money wiring store it is too late . . . they already think this is for real and there is nothing that will change their mind. I would say that this might be true for some people. I have talked to some of these types of people. They are holding on to the hope that no matter how crazy this all sounds that it is true. I compare them to the gambler who is down to his last dollar, but will sit there and continue to play because they are sure that there is a chance they could win. For these people, yes, nothing will change their minds.
But I think that there are a LOT more people who would think twice if they saw such a warning. This information might be out there right now, but most of it is on the internet and the company websites, but the problem with that is that the average person is not going to go to the bank website and read their fraud and scam warnings if they do not think they are getting sucked into a scam. Once they know it is a scam, that is when the go to the website and they see the warnings . . . but this is too late. These warnings need to be where they will do the most good . . . at the point of sale/point of transaction at the banks and money wiring locations. For a few dollars, the cost to print up a post these signs, MILLIONS of dollars could be saved every year.
And, instead of these millions going into the hands of scammers overseas, this money would stay here in the USA . . . wouldn’t THAT help our economy?