New scam targets chess coaches

| 10 | Other

I'd like to warn our chess community that there is a new scam going around trying to defraud chess coaches.  Recently I received an e-mail that seemed legitimate enough but was an attempt to set up a bank fraud.  I quickly realized what was going on and decided to turn the tables by pretending to go along while coordinating actions with the fraud division of my bank.  As is typical of these scams the idea was to send me a large check from which I was supposed to send some money to a third party.  The plan was that I would send the money and then their check would bounce leaving me out the amount sent.

The setup was a travel scam.  I was sent a bogus check drawn on a legitimate Massachusetts company for several thousand dollars, supposedly to provide coaching for the 17-year-old daughter of someone who allegedly worked at the Vatican.  I was to send $1500 to a supposed that travel agent in Texas using the scammer's favorite method: Western Union.

Since I have some experience sending scammers on wild goose chases, I decided to go after this particular scammer by claiming that all the Western Union branches in my area had closed and that I would have to transfer the money by bank transfer instead.  This got me access to all the information about their bank account, which I duly turned over to my bank.  Hopefully, they will go after the person who opened that account but in any case they will close down the account so no further scams can use it. I also notified the legitimate Massachusetts company that there are dank account was being used in the fraud.

The important thing is that you be aware that there is an attempt to defraud chess instructor's so if you receive anything that looks like the e-mail below, delete it right away and do not respond.  This particular e-mail, despite its reference to the Vatican, was sent from Israel and the bank account they wanted me to send money to was in Houston.  The scammers were, as usual, not very bright and I had a bit of fun with them in my correspondence but because they knew my actual identity I did not try to create the sort of correspondence that might be suitable for posting at (a hilarious website devoted to scambaiting).

Original email:
l need the service of a Chess Teacher / Instructor to teach my daughter tina Interested person should answer the below :::

Titles Held: ?

Locations that you serve : ?

Languages in Which Lessons Can Be Given: ?

Teacher Specialties :?

    * Beginners (Children)
    * Beginners (Adults)
    * Openings
    * Tactics
    * Endgames
    * Tournament Preparation

Age of Students : ? You can teach

Usual Rates:

    * $?/hour

Size of Groups :?

    * Private
    * Small Group
    * Group

Type of Lessons : ?

    * In person at teacher's location
    * In person at student's location
    * by e-mail
    * at online club (ICC/FICS/, etc.)

I work with the Vatican in Italy here , My Daughter will be coming to your county from Vatican here in Italy bcos of this traning on how to play Chess but firstly l will like to know the cost of 2hrs a day/ 30days Training ?.

An accomodations will be arranged very close to you for her.

Looking forward to hearing from you today with the charges .

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