eBay wire transfer fraud explained by NY wire fraud defense lawyer
Since online auctions connect buyers and sellers in distant places, there must be a mechanism allowing the buyer to pay the seller. While many use services like Paypal, some prefer to transfer the money from one account to another. Wire transfers are used to easily move money for many different online auctions, especially when large sums of money are at stake.
While wiring money is a legitimate way to move funds, there are also many wire transfer schemes perpetrated through online auction websites. If you are accused of being involved in eBay wire transfer fraud, you need a top defense attorney with experience handling wire transfer fraud cases. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC provides legal representation to anyone accused of a state or federal crime related to illegal wire transfers or fraud surrounding the transfer of money. We can help with the major legal problems you are facing if you have been accused of involvement in a wire transfer scheme.
What are Wire Transfer Schemes?
A wire transfer scheme is any scam designed to result in someone sending money using a wire service under fraudulent or false pretenses. The definition of a wire transfer scam encompasses all situations in which you make material omissions, false or misleading statements, or false promises to get someone to send money via Western Union or other money transfer services.
How Do eBay Wire Transfer Schemes Work?
There are different types of eBay wire transfer schemes.
- A buyer may “overpay” for an auction by sending a check or money order. The buyer asks the seller to wire the excess money back. The seller wires the funds immediately, but subsequently finds out after the wire transfer that the original check or money order was fraudulent.
- A seller lists a shill auction, requiring payment via wire transfer. After the money is wired, the seller does not ever send the item to the person who has paid.
- An email is sent asking for a payment via a fake wire transfer service. The goal of the email is to get the bank account information from the “buyer,” after which money is transferred from the bank without authorization from the buyer. The buyer never receives an item.
- A seller offers a “too-good-to-be-true” auction and then emails bidders promising to send the item if money is sent via wire right away. If the buyer asks for protection, the seller sends an email purporting to be from eBay and claiming eBay will cover losses from a “Safety Board Reserve.”
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These are just a few of many different types of eBay wire transfer schemes. The goal of any money transfer scheme is to get someone to wire money under false pretenses. eBay and other online auction sites simply provide a place to connect with someone who may be willing to send the funds.
Penalties for Wire Transfer Schemes
Wire transfer schemes are taken extremely seriously, and federal authorities can become involved. Because wire transfer fraud is considered a type of wire fraud illegal under 18 U.S. Code Section 1343, you could be looking at a criminal charge carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment or 30 years imprisonment when a financial institution is defrauded.
Wire fraud can also trigger a federal bank fraud charge under 18 U.S. Code Section 1344 if the likely outcome of the fraud is to deprive a financial institution of its assets. Bank fraud also carries a possible penalty of 30 years imprisonment.
These are not the only charges you could face. Both state and federal law also prohibit identity theft and various computer crimes, and you could run afoul of these laws if you have used a wire transfer scam to try to obtain someone’s financial details or identifying information.
An eBay Auction Fraud Lawyer Can Represent You After a Wire Transfer Scheme
When you are accused of wire transfer scams or eBay wire transfer fraud, be proactive in understanding the charges and deciding how best to respond to the accusations. Call Bukh Law Firm, PLLC as soon as possible if you are indicted or when you are under investigation and being questioned by law enforcement. We have experience with all auction fraud and white collar crime cases and will fight hard to protect your future.