Name of Unsuspecting Lawyer Is Used in Nanny Fraud
Posted Oct 2, 2012 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Lawyer Norman D. Smith of Lakewood, N.J., is real, but checks being written in his name are fake.
Smith notified the authorities when he learned early this summer that his name is being used on checks that are part of a fraud on would-be nannies, the New York Times reports.
Stephanie Canales, 19, was one of the victims, the story says. She answered an online ad for a nanny, and answered many questions about her background. She was told she got the job and would receive a $900 check for her first week’s wages.
Instead, Canales received a check for $2,950 in the name of Smith. The next day, Canales received a call from the mother who hired her. The woman told Canales she had made a mistake and Canales should wire most of the money to her in England, where she had traveled for a funeral. She needed the money for the return flight, she said.
Canales did as she was instructed. Later she learned that the check was fraudulent and the bank was holding her responsible for the money she had withdrawn.
Smith told the Times he is aware of about 20 fake checks in his name that have been deposited. Other fake checks have been made out in the name of a California accountant and someone named Michael Vito.