- Embarrassing cheque
The Embarrassing Cheque is a
confidence trickwhich may also be an urban legend.
The scam was supposedly performed by a company selling
pornographyor other sex aids and trading under a highly explicit name (e.g., "The Anal Sex And Fetish Pornography Company"). Customers were invited to purchase adult material from the company, and were assured that the actual transaction could be made with a separate company with a non-explicit name in order to prevent the explicit name from appearing on transaction logs and bank statements.
In fact, the company did not have any items to sell. Once a sufficient number of customers had sent money for items, the company sent out letters of apology to all of them, and also sent them refunds - in the form of company cheques clearly printed "with the explicit company name". All of the customers were too embarrassed to pay in a cheque that was clearly from "The Anal Sex And Fetish Pornography Company", so the scammers running the company got to keep the money - and had technically committed no crime, as technically they had made every effort to refund the money. The authors of
snopes.comhave pointed out that customers could cash the cheques via ATM or mail and thus avoid having to confront a bank worker in person. This would not have prevented, however, the cheque description potentially appearing on their customer file.
It is not known if this trick ever actually happened or not. It is referred to in the film "
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" but existed as a legend prior to that.
*cite web |title=Porn Video Refund Scam |publisher=
*cite book |title="Drunkcow Landmines" |last=Meakes |first=Daryl |url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=sXJWMf77j54C&pg=PA238&lpg=PA238&dq=%22anal+sex+and+fetish+perversion+company%22&source=web&ots=1qDcuKFYlu&sig=07VIwtPwHuDsguAgbjtmHZR08jw&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA239,M1 |page=238 |publisher=Infinity
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