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David N. Kirkman
Task Force Alert
Asst Attorney General
Consumer Protection
NC Department of
P.O. Box 629
Raleigh, NC 27602

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North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

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******Alert #294******

Fraud Artists Convincing Victims to Deposit Cash Into Strangers' Bank Accounts

You might have seen the lengthy news article this weekend about Task Force member Joan Fleming’s case against overseas scam artists who convinced two of their repeat victims to become their payment processors, or “money mules.” Those Raleigh, NC victims, who already had sent their entire savings to the scammers, ended up receiving cash from other elderly fraud victims around the U.S. and then forwarding the cash to their victimizers overseas. If you have not seen the article, it can be found at The victims-turned-payment-processors received cash from newer victims and sent it on to the scammers via overnight courier after deducting a portion of it. Later, they received and forwarded other victims’ funds via wire transfers.

In the wake of the article’s publication, some banks that work with Task Force members have reported instances where elderly fraud victims have deposited cash directly into the bank accounts of US-based intermediaries. Pursuant to instructions received over the phone, the victims come to a branch of the bank where the intermediary (who resides in another state) has an account, provide the intermediary’s name and account number, then deposit the cash. The victims do this after being told that such deposits are necessary in order to collect a large prize in an overseas lottery or sweepstakes contest. The intermediary, situated in another state, then withdraws the funds from the account and forwards the money to parties overseas.

In one case in western NC, the intermediary is a repeat victim of overseas sweepstakes scammers, just like the couple discussed in the article. In other cases, the intermediaries appear to be associates of the scammers themselves. The victims clearly had been instructed not to give their names or contact information when they deposited cash into the accounts. That makes it almost impossible for the banks or law enforcement to identify the victims afterwards in cases where the fraudulently obtained funds have been frozen, intercepted or abandoned by the scammers.


******End of Alert******

Date: June 26, 2012

David N. Kirkman

Task Force Alerts Chair

Assistant Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
Office of Attorney General Roy Cooper
114 West Edenton Street
9001 Mail Processing Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
Tel. 919-716-6000
Fax 919-716-6050


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