Disclaimer: We are not attorneys and don't pretend to be.

In our experience, the solutions offered in this section have proven to be effective; however, we always recommend that you consult with an attorney.

If you have doubts about Fraud Aid, do not hesitate to contact federal (FBI, Secret Service, RCMP) Scotland Yard, or local law enforcement to check us out.


Stay out of debt and stay out of jail:

The legal truth about work-at-home money, package, and check forwarding jobs


How to really verify a check

Your ID Theft Prevention To-Do List

What to do about threats from scammers




You have cashed the drafts at a store but have not spent or sent the money.  You still have all the cash in hand.


You are going to be alright but you need

to take immediate action!

Cease all correspondence with the scammers.  Do not open or answers their emails.  If you have caller ID, do not answer their calls.  If you do answer the phone, hang up as soon as you realize who is calling you.  If they persist, blow a whistle into the telephone.  If you are being threatened, please go here: http://www.fraudaid.com/threats.htm

If you have been corresponding with the scammers by email and/or have gone to a web site they told you is theirs, you are at high risk of Identity Theft even if you have bad credit.  Go here: www.fraudaid.com/id_theft.htm.

File a Scam Email Report with our Law Enforcement Support Division.  You will find step-by-step graphic instructions for your email service here: www.fraudaid.com/find_headers.htm.

MONEY ORDER WARNING! Counterfeiters are now inventing the names of money order companies.  DO NOT CASH any money order and DO NOT DEPOSIT any money order you receive from someone you do not know  or someone you met online without ordering your bank to send it for collection.

DO NOT WITHDRAW ANY FUNDS FROM YOUR ACCOUNT to spend or to send to anyone without asking your bank if they have been paid.  Even with a hold, your account is credited before your bank has been paid.   If the draft you deposited comes back because it was stolen, forged, or is a counterfeit you will owe your bank all the money plus return charges.  www.fraudaid.com/check_liability.htm

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You have cashed the drafts at a store but have not spent or sent the money

WARNING: While many store owners and managers will not give you any trouble, some cannot be trusted to be reasonable or understanding.


Western Union and MoneyGram were designed to send money to friends and family, not to send money to strangers.



If you live in the city or are considered an outsider where you live and you do not know the people at the store, you cannot necessarily predict their behavior.  They may decide to file a police report against you even if you do return the money.  Remember, the crime was passing the counterfeit/stolen/forged drafts to begin with.  It may be up to a court of law to decide if you cashed the drafts with the intent to steal.


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To be on the safe side, we recommend that you read the following:

The At Risk of Arrest and Arrested Fraud Victim Manual PDF

Below you will find 4 solutions options which you need to consider carefully depending on how well you are known and your reputation (priors, current probation, current parole, etc).

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Option 1 of 4:

Contact your local law enforcement office, ask to speak with a Detective.  Make note of the Detective's name, and the date and time you called.

- Explain the situation:

- You have just discovered you are a scam victim.

- The drafts you cashed at [name of store] will come back as counterfeit.

- You still have the cash in hand to return to the store.

- You have been alerted that store owners and managers can occasionally be excitable, even when a victim is returning the money in full.

- Can an officer from Community Policing or a Victim Advocate stand with you as you return the cash to the manager or owner?

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Option 2 of 4:

If no one from local law enforcement can accompany you or meet you at the store:

Contact local law enforcement and ask to speak with a Detective.  Make a note of the Detective's name, and the date and time you called.

Explain the situation and state that you are returning the cash and that you are taking a reliable witness with you (not a husband or relative).

Go to the store and ask to speak with the owner or manager.

Tell the owner or manager that you are a scam victim and have spoken with local authorities.

Tell him the drafts you cashed are most likely counterfeit and that you have brought back the cash.

Return the cash and ask him to count it.

Obtain a receipt for the cash.

Have your witness sign the receipt as well like this:

- On the face of the receipt, but not covering any of the text, print the word "WITNESS:" on the receipt.

- Have your witness sign the receipt next to the word "WITNESS:" along with date and time.  The receipt is now a court-presentable document.

Speak to or leave a message for the Detective you spoke with previously.  Tell him you returned the money and have a receipt for it.

On the back of the receipt, write the Detective's name and the date and time you confirmed the repayment.

Make a copy of the receipt front and back and mail it to the Detective.

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Option 3 of 4:

If neither of the above solutions work for you:

Immediately take the money down to a bank and open what's called a JOHN DOE escrow account.  In the U.S. "John Doe" is the name given to any unknown person.  This type of escrow account may be called something else where you live.

Deposit the money into the JOHN DOE escrow account to the benefit of the store.  This places a third party between you and the store and clearly demonstrates that you had no intent to defraud.  You can speak with your banker about what the store must do to claim the money.

Any bank in the world will open an escrow account for you.  If you feel more comfortable doing so, you can hire an attorney to do this on your behalf.

Contact your local law enforcement office and ask to speak with a Detective.

Explain the situation and that you do not trust the store owner or manager to maintain a reasonable attitude.

Tell the Detective that you have opened the escrow account and that the store can go pick up the funds whenever they want to.

Contact the store and tell them where their money is and how to get it.

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Option 4 of 4:

 If you are not comfortable with any of the above solutions, hire an attorney or a Private Investigator to return the cash for you.

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If your circumstances do not fit the above solution or if you have difficulties negotiating with the store or law enforcement please write to so we can review your problem and offer alternate solutions or intervention.



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