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Their objective is to send ‘bad money’ which may be in the form of a stolen cheque or forged bankers draft and get ‘good money’ in return.

Criminal Cash-Back, Shipping and ESCROW frauds Cheque and Bank Payments.

Criminal Cashback is an overpayment, usually by cheque or bankers draft, where the receiver is asked to send money to a friend, shipping agent, Escrow Company or other third party.

Their objective is to send ‘bad money’ which may be in the form of a stolen cheque or forged bankers draft and get ‘good money’ in return.

The person who pays the money into the account remains liable to refund the money to the bank if the cheque or draft ‘bounces’. The criminal has gained and the victim lost, hence ‘Criminal Cashback’.

In all these cases the Bank or Money Transfer Company is just following your instructions.

If things go wrong they most often are not be able to reverse the transaction and are not liable.

Examples of criminal cashback include:

  • Over-payments for items bought over the Internet, for example, vehicles.
  • Payments using an intermediary such as a shipping or escrow company. Escrow is a form of safe transaction used by companies to hold the funds whilst goods are being purchased.

If you do become concerned during a sale:

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions of your ‘buyer'.
  • Don't be hurried along by your ‘buyer' - this is often used by a fraudster to get you to make a mistake.
  • Check the details of any payment received - do they correspond with what you know of your ‘buyer’.
  • Company cheques or banker's draft - contact the company directly to verify its legitimacy.
  • Talk to your bank – they will give you guidance and clarify the status of any payments received.
  • Ultimately, don't be afraid to turn down a suspect ‘buyer'.


New rules introduced in November 2007 (known as the 2-4-6 rule) now make cheque payments safer.

  • Cheques now take 6 working days to fully clear.
  • Do not issue refunds on cheques until at least 7 working days have elapsed.
  • Make certain that the money is in your account.

Bank Transfers

Separate rules apply to bank transfers. Transfers may be securely made almost instantly, consult your bank for details, and using the Sort Code Checker.

Checking Bank Details

Bank Sort Codes may be checked using the Payment Council’s Sort Code Checker

Bank Drafts

If receiving a bank draft, it needs to be from a UK bank, do so during banking hours and ensure that you check with your bank before parting with your goods or car.

Drafts can be recalled at any time after they have been received, even as many as 2 years after they were created.

You cannot 100% safely trust any draft from a foreign bank. Months, even years, after it has been credited to your account it could be recalled.

Money Transfer

Never use money transfer to send money to someone that you have never met - see our pages on money transfer.