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I was approached through direct message by a female account on Instagram (which seemed to be catfished) saying that she is a “sugar mummy” willing to pay $300 weekly for a sugar baby. “She” basically said that since covid is so bad right now, all she needs for now is someone to give her a lot of attention (essentially an online relationship).

I was pretty high to be quite honest and I felt like playing along cause it all seemed funny at the time. She asked me a few questions which I answered, and then she said “we can start your payment today”. I asked if she could do etransfer or PayPal but she said she could only send me money by emailing me photos of a cheque. I’m able to deposit cheques on my mobile bank app so I said okay sure.

However, then she said she needed to send money to her friend who isn’t so tech savvy and can only receive online transactions through etransfer, but the sugar momma already mentioned she can’t do etransfer so she needs me to do it...

She said her friend is someone who can buy her some video card thing for her computer which she mentioned earlier today, but the weird thing is, the cheque she sent me was for $600, which means that she was giving me and her friend the exact same amount, which is really weird.

At the time I was like wait this wasn’t a scam this was real, and I impulsively deposited the cheque.

My first guess is that she lied and the person I need to etransfer the $300 to for her is someone like me, “the sugar baby”.

But just now, at 2am, she finally sent me the email to the person she wants me to send the $300 to, and i asked if I could send it the morning because it’s late and I’m gonna sleep now, but then she said: “ Yes i know it’s pretty late dear. But it’s just you could do within a minute. Once you do I’ll be heading to bed also dear😴.“

It’s pretty late right now and I’m half asleep so if my writing is weird, that’s why.

I don’t know what to do about the situation I am in right now. If anyone has any suggestions about what to do (or what NOT to do) moving forward with my situation.

Screenshot of account: screenshot of a scammers instagram

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    Apart from the suggestive set-up, this sounds like run of the mill advance fee fraud or money laundering. – tripleee Jan 5 at 8:23
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    Quick image search suggests the lower left photo is actress Brenda Strong. – tripleee Jan 5 at 8:26
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    Does this answer your question? Am I being scammed by a sugar daddy? – glibdud Jan 5 at 12:36
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    @Fattie "Well-known and obvious scam" is not a close reason. Questions are off-topic if they do not meet the requirements on our on-topic help page. We do not generally close questions because we think the question is too easy or obvious. If you find an exact duplicate, feel free to vote to close as a duplicate. – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Jan 5 at 19:09
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Let's rephrase the question.

Can I run an advance-fee fraud while shifting all liability to lonely, high, horny, and bored social media users with just two photos from a model?

Yes.

To answer your other question about what to do if you have already been caught up in this, all you have to do is stop messaging them and don't do anything else. There is no glimmer of truth for you to uncover, or worthwhile for you to uncover.

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  • Thank u for your answer. How am I liable or even a party to this money laundering scheme? No one told me it was “stolen money”, and I didn’t know it was stolen money either. I’m not saying you’re wrong, this just isn’t my field of expertise. – Owen Jan 5 at 15:15
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    @Owen "How am I liable or even a party [...] No one told me it was “stolen money" Broadly speaking, ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking it. However, authorities are aware of this type of scam, and under any sensible jurisdiction it's unlikely you're going to be branded a criminal for falling for it once. The main thing to do is to not spend any of the money: it will be taken back eventually. Speak to your bank (and possibly parents) and let them know what's happened. – TripeHound Jan 5 at 15:38
  • Okay thank you for your help – Owen Jan 5 at 15:53
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    I have to say @TripeHound is unfortunately plain wrong. OP is already in serious trouble for money laundering as we speak. The idea that authorities would gloss it over with "Gee, maybe someone hasn't heard of illegally passing stolen cheques ..." is incredible, astonishing. {Indeed, the idea that the US is "sensible" in terms of going after money laundering - is completely fantastical, unfortunately.} The OP has stolen money. End of story. (Again, the idea of an excuse "Gee, I didn't know about stealing money" is incredible.) I'm not sure there is anything that can be done now. – Fattie Jan 5 at 16:16
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You are already in serious trouble - for money laundering.

If that particular ring of scammers is targeted by law enforcement - and make no mistake, that is more and more common now, cops everywhere are far from stupid - you will be hauled up and at the very least, every aspect of your financial life will be probed like an enema. Your credit is done, any job search hopes you have are done, your legal record is done.

If you think you can casually receive stolen funds, as you have done, with no consequences against you, you're in a dreamland.

The plain facts are you've been working with a ring of scammers and accepted cheques - if you picture yourself arguing your way out of it "oh it was just an email image", again, dreamland.

Regarding "what you should do now", there's only one thing you can do - cross your fingers. You're put yourself in hot water. There's no water hotter than money laundering.

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    why are you voting to close the question but also answering it? Shouldn't a high-rep user know better than that? – Matsemann Jan 5 at 14:15
  • cheers @Matsemann (1) to try to help the user (probably uselessly), (2) I am not a high rep user (3) I don't generally address rhetorical question speech :) (4) I believe you are assuming one "shouldn't" both answer a question and vote it closed. – Fattie Jan 5 at 16:17
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    Do you have some concrete evidence for the consequences you describe actually happening either commonly or even at all? – GS - Apologise to Monica Jan 5 at 17:03
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    You should never answer a question and also vote to close. If you think this question is worth answering, you should also allow others the opportunity to answer. It is unfair for you to get your answer in and then use your high-rep voting privileges to prevent others from answering. See Is it acceptable to answer an off-topic question? And you are a high-rep user: Less than one-third of one percent of users on our site have the privilege of voting-to-close. – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Jan 5 at 19:00
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    Stop promoting nonsensical fearmongering. There is no evidence to support your position. – BrenBarn Jan 7 at 7:02

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