Check-cashing scam changes names

A check-cashing scam tied to Latvia and under investigation by authorities in several U.S. states has changed its name and introduced a new Web site, Latvians Online has learned.

While the Web site for Void Computers, subject of consumer alerts announced this week in Arkansas and other states, has been shut down, a new but similar Web site has been unveiled for Latvian IT Inc. Like Void Computers, Latvian IT purports to offer jobs to individuals who have posted their résumés on the popular employment portal

Authorities in Arkansas have warned that the Void Computers scam seeks individuals who are willing to try to cash counterfeit invoice payment checks. If successful, the individual is asked to forward the money to an account in Latvia, keeping a 10 percent fee for their services.

On its Web site,, Latvian IT claims to be a financial services company registered in Rīga, Latvia. But in e-mails being sent to some individuals, Latvian IT is identified as “a leading software company in Latvia.”

One e-mail, from someone named Michael Lioliadis, who claims to be an employee of Latvian IT, also claims the company is expanding in the United States.

“But because of various banking and legal restrictions,” the e-mail continues, “we are unable to open commercial bank accounts in every state. As such, Latvian IT Inc. is recruiting partners to conduct simple banking transactions on our behalf.”

Latvia’s business registry has no listing of either the company name or the registration number provided on the Web site. The address provided for the company doesn’t exist, and the telephone number listed is actually the dial-up Internet access number for clients of Latvian Mobile Telephone.

The Web site appears to be registered to a Web site developer in California who, when contacted by Latvians Online, was surprised to learn that his name and address were being used by Latvian IT.

Latvian IT claims to have been in business since 1993. The Web site also claims Latvian IT has been generous in support of cultural institutions and performances, such as the musical “Sister Carrie,” the Russian Drama Theatre in Rīga, and the “singer” Gidon Kremer, whose real talent is playing the violin.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

21 thoughts on “Check-cashing scam changes names

  1. This is so unfortunate that in every society there are good guys and bad guys. The bad guys always give everyone else a stain. I am delighted that your organization familiar with the Latvian people have decided to speak up by publishing these fraudulent websites. They are dime a dozen.

    Please visit or or and see how ordinary people have dedicated their time in making people aware of the criminal activities of a few.

    Thank you,


  2. I am very glad to have found this site. This is one of two sites when you google it that lets you know about this company.. so called. I just recieved an e mail from them a week ago, asked them to send more info, then they did and said they had to change e mails then told me to send my address and they hope I cooperate. Scarey. Anyway, Thanks again!!!!

  3. I recieved the same email as Clarissa..and im scared…they said they would be sending me checks for 3000 and i was to keep 10%..i dont know what to do with the checks..should i take them to the police or just throw them away?

  4. Hello,
    Today I received a similar e-mail but from an e-mail address appearing as “” The text body of the e-mail is identical to that of the fraud alert posted 19 August with the exception of web site and e-mail addresses. Beware!!!

  5. I just received an email from a Maurice Smith claiming to work for a software company from latvia called moontrack inc. claiming they cant open commerial bank account in the us and they need people to claim the money…yeah I’ll get right on it….

  6. Has anybody actually recieved these checks? What happens if you cash it and keep the money? These guys are nuts. When they send you an e-mail they aren’t even professional, much less grammatically correct. There’s a warning sign for you!!

  7. Thanks to these messages nothing has happened to me yet. However I have received e-mails with the same content from a certain Maurice in Latvia. I have been investigating about the company before I did anything else. Thank you for this web message it helped a lot…

  8. I also received checks yesterday. I’m going to call police and turn them over to them. That is the best thing to do rather than to have them in your possession.

  9. As mentioned I didn’t find this until after I deposited the checks. I called the bank after a week and they said the checks cleared. I still waited almost another week and found out the money was charged back. All I lost was the bank fee. It could have been worse. So if you get an email or the checks just trash it.

  10. I received a check and couldn’t get it cashed by a check casher so I went to the bank and was told that there was not enough money in the account to cash it. Why did you deposit the checks? The email said to cash them. What do you mean charged back? I don’t know what to do now.

  11. These checks are fradulent (counterfeit) you can mention it to whatever authorities you want but don’t cash them or send any money. It will cost you more than a returned check fee. They also changed their email address from one account to another (again) blaming it on a virus. The only virus is the people who are pulling these scams. As mentioned previously I deposited the checks before I found this message board but I was going to wait 10 days before I would send anything. What I found annoying with the bank is they release the funds in 3 days and after a week I called and said asked are they good and the bank said yes. Then another couple of days and it came back as fradulent and counterfeit and the usual banks return check fees.

  12. I had signed up for 2 of these programs through a compony in Hong Kong.They never asked for my bank info or anything….just my name,adress,age and sex….They also said I didn’t have to do this through my bank account.They said that I could do it through a check cashing center.So, this should be legit if that info was never givin and if I don’t have to use my own bank account.The guy had even tried calling me from Hong Kong but I wasn’t there to take his call.I’m going to do it because I believe this is legit.All because he never wanted my bank info……

  13. Only a fool will go to a Check Cashing Center to cash those counterfeit or phony checks. If you choose to work for these scumbags, you better off using your bank account. Your risk of going to jail is far less than using a Check Cashing Center.

    At the Check Cashing Center, those folks are well trained in detecting counterfeit checks and currency. The Check Cashing industry has a reputation of money laundering and the government will shut them down in seconds. They don’t mess around. They call the cops while you are at the counter and you’ll be lead out in handcuffs.

    If you doubt this posting, then go ahead and give it a try. Funny how desperate you folks are. We at and are making progress in WARNING the PUBLIC about your CRIMINAL activities. Damn this has to STOP.

  14. ore From Bridgeton News | Subscribe To Bridgeton News
    Fraudulent check exposed at check cashing business
    Wednesday, September 28, 2005
    Staff Writer

    BRIDGETON — A Bridgeton Villas resident was charged with uttering a fraudulent check Monday after attempting to cash an $18,000 check at a check-cashing business on North Laurel Street, according to police.

    Charity A. Obi, 34, was released on her own recognizance after being processed and assigned a court date.

    Obi apparently was caught up in an Internet scam, according to Ptl. Leroy Smith’s investigation report.

    Obi told Smith she and a man claiming to be from Nigeria exchanged 20 to 25 e-mails beginning this summer.

    The man would tell her how corrupt and unstable banks in Nigeria are in the e-mails, and later told her he would pay her $850 if she would deposit a check in her bank account for him, according to the report.

    On Sept. 5 and 19, Obi was contacted by a man purporting to be in Canada, according to the report.

    He told her that he received her phone number from the man claiming to be from Nigeria and that she would be receiving a check in the mail, but gave no instructions regarding the check.

    A check for $18,300.04 arrived in Obi’s mail on Monday, according to the report.

    She decided to attempt to cash the check at Cumberland Check Cashing, rather than deposit it in her bank account as the “Nigerian” had requested.

    The clerk at Cumberland Check Cashing who reported the fraudulent check told Smith she contacted a manager at a health fund based in New York from which the check was supposedly issued.

    The manager told the clerk that he still had a check with the same check number on it in the fund’s office.

    A comparison of the check still in possession of the New York-based fund and the check Obi presented here revealed that one of two signatures on it was “clearly forged” while the second was “almost perfect,” according to the report.

    The case remains under investigation.

    An investigator from the county prosecutor’s office told Smith he is actively investigating a number of similar cases.


  15. I was arrested because of this. I went to the bank the checks were drawn off and questioned them. The bank manager said the checks were valid requested my signature and thumb print and called the police. Before all of this was available— how would someone know if ANY check is valid without presenting it to a bank. I have 6 felonies and a 1 misd. resting on my head because I thought I was doing the right thing. Word of advise—- burn the chekcs if they come!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *