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I am homeless and have been for the last 8 months. Finding work has been difficult as I am physically and mentally handicapped.

This girl on Facebook who was friends with somebody I know hit me up and offered me financial help, and at first everything seemed legit. That is until she told me that she needed me to spend $1400 of the $1600 she sent me on Bitcoin and invest it in an account that she would have access to.

At this point I grew suspicious, even more so when she kept asking me for the login info to my bank account. After multiple attempts to get her to verify her identity, she kept refusing to send a video and began getting hostile.

I have since blocked her and reported the incident to the FTC. The cheque has yet to enter my account, but the name signed on it seems to be the one that she identifies with and part of me still believes that there's a chance it is her money.

My question is, will I get in trouble for accepting this money? What do I do now? I wouldn't mind taking $1600 off of a scammer, but if there's a chance that this is somebody else's money who also fell victim to this scammer, I can't ethically do that. Not to mention, it scares me to think about the potential legal consequences.

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    I just wanted to say, congratulations on not sharing the login info to your bank account. That is something nobody should ever do under any circumstances - an online banking password is only to be used for logging into the bank's website or app - and the fact that the person asked for it is already highly suspicious.
    – David Z
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 21:43
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    This is most likely a scam but so what? If you've reported your doubts to the bank, the cops and the FTC… and anyone else they can think of… how can anything that goes wrong be your fault? Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 22:23
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    Does this answer your question? Scam or Real: A woman from Facebook apparently needs my bank account to send money
    – shoover
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 22:40
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    @RobbieGoodwin "... she told me that she needed me to spend 1400 of the $1600 she sent me on Bitcoin and invest it in an account that she would have access to" -- That is the OP being told that they are not entitled to keep the money. The OP is knowingly passing someone else's money through their account. Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 21:26
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    @DavidSchwartz that is your interpretation, likely correct, but that is not what the OP was literally being told. The scammers prey on, well, not the brightest people. The OP was able to see through the ruse, but most their marks would not.
    – littleadv
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 2:56

4 Answers 4

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The check is most likely fraudulent/forged, and will eventually bounce. The scam is to convince you to convert most of that money to bitcoin to which the scammer then would have access and would undoubtedly transfer somewhere else. By the time the check bounces (could be weeks), the bitcoin would be long gone and the scammer with it.

Do not deposit the check, it can only get you in trouble. Shred it and move on.

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    She got me to deposit the check but I haven't done anything with it. I contacted the FTC as soon as I realized she was a scammer, but that was only after I deposited the check. what should I do?? Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 20:47
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    Contact the bank, tell them that the check is most likely going to bounce and ask them to reverse/block the deposit so that you don't accidentally use the money.
    – littleadv
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 20:48
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    @littleadv - Possibly also worth contacting the local PD to advise them that they think they've been the unwitting victim of a scam. If they get a visit before that happens, it looks a lot more like they've been caught in the act and are making excuses.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 8:54
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    If someone deliberately overpays you and wants the excess passed somewhere, especially via an untraceable mechanism, at best you are being used to launder illegal funds, but more likely you are just being swindled with a bad check. Do not walk away from this "opportunity"; run.
    – keshlam
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 12:31
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    @keshlam Hmm, that describes every cash transaction with change! They give me $10 for a $9 charge (deliberately overpaying me), and then I give them an untraceable $1 bill.
    – nanoman
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 19:43
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Tl;DR

There is no money and there is no girl.

Someone's Facebook got hacked and the scammer has chosen you as a target.


I wouldn't mind taking $1600 off of a scammer, but if there's a chance that this is somebody else's money who also fell victim to this scammer, I can't ethically do that.

It's 99% likely not the scammers money unless they are a terrible scammer.

Regardless, your situation has all of the hallmarks of a scam:

  • Offering too-good-to-be-true financial assistance
    • Sorry, but unless you have a personal relationship with a person, no one is gonna blindly give you money
  • Asking for login credentials of any sort
    • I don't even know where to begin with describing why voluntarily giving out your login credentials is always a bad move
  • They get hostile when you don't comply
    • A sense of haste/FOMO/urgency/trouble/hostility makes the victim perform bad actions faster, the scammer relies on this
  • Bitcoin
    • If you don't understand the seedy underbelly of this technology then getting scammed is a terrible way to learn
  • Pays you too much money and requests the excess to be returned
    • They give you dirty/non-existent money, you give them clean money. You are a mule but even worse because you don't even get a carrot for your troubles; you just get to live with the consequences.

My apologies for your homeless situation but you are prime prey for scammers. Stay vigilant or else you will find yourself with even less money.

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I'm afraid it's almost certainly a scam. She sent you a cheque for $1600 then asked you to invest $1400 of it in a bitcoin account for her? You're right to be suspicious.

If it was a cheque and you haven't lodged it to your account then the money is still in her account. So why could she not just spend the $1400 on the bitcoin herself then send you the other $200?

littleadv has already described the nature of the scam, but as to whether it's hers or some other victim's, the likelihood is that it doesn't even exist.

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  • Is there a reason to believe that the money actually is in her account? Writing a check / cheque means putting marks on a piece of paper; this action may be completely separate from the balance in the corresponding checking account. Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 21:29
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    @Technophile - I severely doubt it. But I'm just pointing out the flaw in her logic - i.e. that if she was honest and not a scammer, then she could easily invest $1400 herself and send Jebediah the balance, since Jebediah has not yet lodged it.
    – komodosp
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 22:50
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If you deposited the check into your account, do nothing else and wait for your bank to figure out that someone tried to scam you and the check wasn't covered.

The bank put $1,600 into your bank account. In a week or a month or six months they will take $1,600 out of your bank account. That's it. Don't spend the money (because the bank will remove it from your account, whether you have money or not). DO NOT under any circumstances send money to the person that gave you the check.

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