The Rubber Cheque Scam

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
By Martin Myall

GRA Rubber Cheque ScamThere have been a couple of cases where restaurants in Granada have received a cheque from a British person as part of a scam.

For example, a restaurant received a reservation via email for 13 people for five days, two meals a day. This particular restaurant sent a quote for 3,250 euros for the said reservation from the 24th to the 28th of December.

They then received a cheque from a Peter Smith in the post for 8,000 pounds – much more than required. The restaurant put the cheque into their account and informed Peter Smith that there was a difference of 5,580 euros in the client’s favour, who asked for it to be refunded.

But here’s the scam, because the cheque in a foreign currency the sum is advanced by your bank whilst the sum is verified, which sometimes takes up to two week.

As far as the receiver is concerned, the cheque is genuine and the money is in his account and can use it. In other words, if the receiver is not aware of how the international banking system works, he can mistakenly believe that the money is real only to find out that when the cheque bounces, the bank takes the sum back, charging commission.

So the restaurant sends off the balance to Peter Smith only to later find out that the cheque has bounced and they have just lost several thousand euros.

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In the best case scenario the recipient of the cheque loses only what his bank charges him for processing a cheque without funds. But if he also sends the difference back to the sender before the bomb drops, then he is a lot worse off.

Furthermore, the average Spaniard doesn’t realise that ‘Peter Smith’ is a very common name, of course and is tantamount to ‘Fred Bloggs.’

Finally, there have also been cases elsewhere in Spain where the targeted business in this kind of scam has been a music academy.

(News: Metropolitan Area, Granada, Andalucia)

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