A Sechelt man wants to warn others after he fell for a scam that cost him tens of thousands of dollars.
Michael Morgan got caught up in a new variation of a familiar scam.
He was recruited through LinkedIn recently to act as the financial agent in Canada for a Chinese trade and engineering company.
Through a string of legitimate-sounding intermediaries, he ended up collecting and depositing a number of cheques into his account.
They were cleared by Royal Bank of Canada and then Morgan transferred the funds to his alleged employer.
Later, it turned out those cheques were phony, leaving Morgan out of pocket more than $22,000.
“What I was waiting for was cheque number one to clear,” said Morgan. “If that’s good, it gave everybody a sense of trust and that’s what they’re building.”
When the second cheque arrived, for $22,000, it was also cleared by the Royal Bank, but only after Morgan had forwarded the funds back to headquarters did the cheque bounce.
Royal Bank told Global News that because it was the customer who initiated the transaction, it cannot be held liable.
In a statement it said:
“Clients must always ensure any potential employers and funds are legitimate and take extra precautions to ensure they are comfortable with the transaction and that they are dealing with a trusted source when receiving or transferring funds.”
Variants of this scam still top the Better Business Bureau’s most active frauds.