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Check Fraud Scheme Aimed at Flight Instructors
June 12, 2008 - Recently, the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) has become aware of several instances in the U.S. and abroad in which flight training providers and instructors have been contacted to provide training for a candidate under questionable payment conditions.

In these situations a lump sum has been offered with payment in the form of a certified or cashiers check payable to the training provider. This check is drawn for more than the amount of services to be provided. The training provider is then requested to return the unused portion of the amount paid (less a service charge) to the person paying for the training or to a third party that is providing some other sort of service (such as travel accommodations, document preparation, etc.). The training provider is requested to pay the third party an amount in a check out of the excess of the lump sum payment that is provided initially via the cashiers or certified check.

This is a similar scheme to what has been seen in email in other circles. The flight training industry appears to be specifically targeted by this scheme. If you are a flight school or training provider and are asked to accept payment via certified or cashiers check and return the unused balance with your company funds, NAFI advises extreme caution if you choose to proceed. Your bank or local financial institution may be able to offer additional resources and information on how to determine the validity of cashier's checks, money orders, or certified checks before you proceed with acceptance of any type of transaction of this nature.

While all transactions that present themselves in this manner may not be invalid or suspect, NAFI advises that flight training providers research the nature of the transaction carefully prior to accepting them and especially before issuing any sort of refund amount out of a larger sum of payment.

NAFI will continue to monitor the climate relating to these transactions and provide any further detail in the future. If you receive such a solicitation, please forward a copy to: [email protected]. For more information contact the NAFI office at 920-426-6801.

NAFI is dedicated to providing support and recognition for America's aviation educators while helping them raise and maintain their level of professionalism.  It is also committed to providing a safe and effective learning environment for student pilots.  The Association was founded in 1967 and affiliated with EAA in 1995. For more information contact NAFI at 920-426-6801 or [email protected].