Most Shared

TroubleShooter

TroubleShooter

 
text size

Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Counterfeit Money Orders

Updated: Friday, March 28 2014, 06:39 PM EDT
CINCINNATI (Howard Ain) -- Consumers and businesses are losing millions of dollars because of an increasing number of counterfeit money orders.
              
One New Jersey car dealer wishes he had known how to spot a fake before he accepted one.

Ej Ahmad, a fraud victim, said, "I got a call from both banks, 'Hey what are you doing? Are you doing a fraud?' Excuse me. What's going on? They said, 'Well the money orders you have deposited are fake.'"
 
This used car dealership owner is understandably angry.  Two customers used counterfeit money orders to pay for a couple of cars.
 
Ahmad continued, "We just took that as a payment. They bought two cars from us, and we were very happy and confident and we didn't think of any problem."
 
Ahmad says the suspects shopped his car lot and found an Acura and Jeep Cherokee they liked.  They put down a deposit of 9,000 dollars in money orders for both cars.  Total sale price: $12,000.
 
Ahmad said, "So far, we never had any problems with the postal money orders so postal money order was considered like cash."
 
Mark Viggiano, a US Postal Inspector, told us, "He agreed they could take the cars home that night, because they lived locally and they would be back the next morning to complete the transaction."
 
The suspects never returned and Ahmad was on the hook for the full $12 thousand dollars lost.  Postal Inspectors say counterfeit money orders are a growing problem and somewhat easy to distinguish from the real thing.  For instance, there is a metallic security thread woven into real money orders.  On a fake it's printed on the outside.
 
Also, real money orders have a watermark of Benjamin Franklin on the far left side.  On a counterfeit the water mark is printed on the paper.
 
Ahmad says from now on he won't treat money orders like cash, "We should have done probably little more research into and know exactly what they were doing."
 
Both of the cars stolen in this case were recovered and returned but the suspects remain on the run.  Creating a fake money order is a federal offense punishable by up to  5 years in prison.
          

Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for updates!Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Counterfeit Money Orders


Advertise with us!

Related Stories

Scam Alert

  • E-greeting Card Scam

    The e-greeting card scam is not a new one, but the FBI says it's returned with a vengeance.

    It's Internet Crime Complaint Center is receiving an increasing number of complaints.

    The fraud e-cards contain malware as an attachment, or it contains a link which sends the recipient to a web page where they can pick up viruses, keystroke loggers or other so-called trojan horse programs.

    The e-cards sometimes even appear to be from legitimate e-card greeting web sites-- but the actual address of the links point to a numeric address, rather than one containing the name of the postcard company.

    If you get one of these e-mails you can file a complaint on the FBI's web site, http://www.ic3.gov/.
  • Jury Duty Scam

    Officials all across the Tri-State are warning about a jury duty scam that may put you at risk for identity theft.

    Police say someone has been calling residents and saying they face arrest for failing to report for jury duty.

    The caller asks people for personal information including their Social Security numbers to clear up the situation.

    Authorities say the calls are part of a nationwide scam. If you think you have been a victim call your local police or sheriff's department.
 

More TroubleShooter Links

TroubleShooter Feedback

Do you have a problem that needs Howard's attention? Fill out the form below and let him know!
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.
Advertise with us!