Could You Spot A Fake Check Scam?


The trouble is: we all think we’d know a scam when we see it. But the numbers tell a different story.

Statistics say 2.7 million people lost a reported $905 million to scammers in 2017, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Some of those scams involve fake checks. Could you spot a fake check scam?

Here’s what to watch for, says the American Bankers Association.

Congrats! You won! Now, how do you collect those winnings? Scammers will want you to cash a check and send back a chunk of it for taxes and fees. Umm, maybe you’d better hold off on the celebration for now.

Want to work as a mystery shopper? Sounds pretty fun. But these schemes usually involve wiring money somewhere. And the check you’ll receive is – you guessed it – worthless.

You’re an online super seller. Did you sell an item and “accidentally” get overpaid? If they ask you to send back the difference, you’d better hit pause on the transaction.

These schemes happen because banks, by law, must make funds available quickly. It can take longer, though, to learn if a check is bad. A cleared check isn’t necessarily a good check.

You can stop the scammers by asking questions. Talk to someone you trust. Ask your bank for a double check. You can also report your complaint to the FTC.

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