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

There is a lot of important information on this page - please read everything carefully

Credit union accounts:

You have withdrawn the money from your credit union account and have spent and/or sent the money


You are at low risk of arrest but need

to take immediate steps to prevent action on the part of the bank.

Warning: The most frequent cause of arrest comes from ignoring the credit union's communications for more than 30 days.   Many credit unions will press charges as a result.

If this is your situation, go HERE.

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 withdrawn the money from your account and have spent and/or sent the money

Read these information & How-To pages:

Catching the Bad Guys

Debt Management

Debtor's Rights

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Read an Agreement

Identity Theft Prevention To-Do List

Miranda: Know your Miranda Rights and how to use them


  Keep a log of each person's name, title, phone number and extension, date, time, and what was said.  Do this for the entire time you are working with your bank to repay the debt, regardless of who you talk to.  So long as it has to do with the repayment or the scam, keep a record of your contact in your contact log. 

It may seem like a bother now, but you will really be glad you have the log later.

  File a police report immediately.  If your local law enforcement will not take a Fraud Report, ask to file a General Crime Report.  You will need a copy for your credit union.

Contact Western Union or MoneyGram, depending on which you used to wire the money, and ask for a tracking report of the money you sent off to the scammers.  You may need a copy to add to your police report, and you may need a copy for your credit union.  This is not an essential step, but is still a wise one.

The credit union will probably freeze your account if they haven't done so already and will "sweep" the account, meaning they will debit whatever funds are in the account. 

They have the right to do that since they have to immediately return the money to the rightful owner and then wait to recoup their loss from you.

If you have automatic deposits and/or a Bill Pay set up, please contact everyone.  Ask that you be sent paper checks instead of auto-deposits.  Tell your creditors that you will be late this month (if that is true) and explain why.  Pay them yourself rather than through Bill Pay.

If you have automatic deposits and/or a Bill Pay set up, please contact everyone.  Ask that you be sent paper checks instead of auto-deposits.  Tell your creditors that you will be late this month (if that is true) and explain why.  Pay them yourself rather than through Bill Pay.

We suggest that you open another account at a different bank or credit union, or switch to a plastic account: a prepaid credit card that accepts direct deposits and offers Bill Pay.

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Prepare your Budget Packet:

  • Your Budget Worksheet: all money in, all money out.  Be sure to include your quarterly and annual expenses, such as auto insurance, taxes, clothing allowance, money you put aside for emergencies, automatic savings withdrawals, school expenses, etc.  Do this even if you have no money left over or are in the red.  Click HERE to view and download a free budget worksheet.

Your budget is a negotiating tool, nothing more.  This is not a pass or fail test, it's merely a statement of fact.  Please understand that everything you note as an expense must be verifiable by your bank or other creditor, so don't lie or try to add in expenses that cannot be proven by your cash flow statement or bank statement.

  • Write a cover letter to go with your Budget Packet.  Go to How to Write a Cover Letter for Your Budget Packet.

  • Backup for the claims on your Budget Worksheet: Gather together copies of bills, expense receipts, loan statements, and credit card statements to back up your budget sheet.  See Assemble your Budget Packet.

  • A copy of your police report if available.

  • A copy of the Western Union or MoneyGram tracking report, if available.

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Credit unions, unlike banks, often do not want to make payment arrangements and want all the money at once.

If your credit union will not accept a payment plan, your objective is to have your debt account sent to a collection agency as soon as possible because collection agencies are by their very nature willing to make payment arrangements.

You may need to make several calls to your credit union before your account is assigned to a collection agency.

In the meantime, borrow the money if you have to but get some kind of payment* into the credit union to show good faith.  Send it with a letter that once again explains you cannot afford to pay the amount in full in one payment.

* Preferably, use a cashier's check for this payment and keep the stub.  Wait about a week then call the bank that issued the cashier's check to see if it has been deposited.  Keep doing that until the check has either been deposited or returned to you by the credit union.

Possible scenarios:

1.  Your credit union agrees to a payment plan.  If that's the case, present them with your Budget Packet.

2.  If the credit union deposited your cashier's check and you don't hear from them after you have presented your Budget Packet, go to the alternate tactic.

3.  You will finally be sent to a collection agency where you can make payments that fit your budget.  In that case, proceed to the next step below.

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Following the instructions found on the How to Write a Cover Letter page, assemble your Budget Packet.

       Contact the collection agency and explain that you are the victim of a [Lottery, Payment Processing, Overpayment, Nigerian, Eastern European, Asian] counterfeit check scam and that you are determined to reach a repayment plan that is mutually beneficial.  Be sincere, be forthright, and be very adamant.  Most collection agencies are open to negotiation.  The more aggressive you are about reaching agreeable terms, the fewer problems you will have.

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Consider that you may have to file bankruptcy, which does not mean you will lose your home or your cars.  See BankruptcyAction.com where your questions about bankruptcy will be answered: http://www.bankruptcyaction.com/questions.htm.

However, if your situation has reached the point where the creditor's court has issued a judgment for the amount owed, be sure you don't wait more than 90 days to get the bankruptcy filed or you may find you still have to pay the debt.

On the other hand, bankruptcy may be the solution that allows you to pay the debt.  Only you can make that determination with the advice of your bankruptcy attorney.


* DO NOT IGNORE THE SITUATION.  We can guarantee you that if you decide this is the bank or the store's problem, not yours and you refuse to answer their calls and correspondence, you will either be taken to civil court or arrested or both!

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


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