How To Spot A Check Scam

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Jul 22, 2007, 2:11:18 AM7/22/07
How To Spot A Check Scam

All of the scams promise money with a check you're supposed to cash first.
The checks look valid, but are indeed bogus.
The scammers will then tell you to wire them money to help cover so-called
"processing fees."
Once the money is wired, it is gone. The bank will hold you responsible if
there is a shortfall in your account.
Avoid trouble by never accepting checks from someone you don't know.
Remember that if you deposit a bad check you will be held responsible. And
realize you couldn't have "won" a lottery you never entered.

Tips for Recognizing and Avoiding Fake Check Scams
If someone you don't know wants to pay you by check but wants you to wire
some of the money back, beware! It's a scam that could cost you thousands of
· There are many variations of the fake check scam. It could start
with someone offering to buy something you advertised, pay you to do work at
home, give you an "advance" on a sweepstakes you've supposedly won, or pay
the first installment on the millions that you'll receive for agreeing to
have money in a foreign country transferred to your bank account for
safekeeping. Whatever the pitch, the person may sound quite believable.
· Fake check scammers hunt for victims. They scan newspaper and
online advertisements for people listing items for sale, and check postings
on online job sites from people seeking employment. They place their own ads
with phone numbers or email addresses for people to contact them. And they
call or send emails or faxes to people randomly, knowing that some will take
the bait.
· They often claim to be in another country. The scammers say it's
too difficult and complicated to send you the money directly from their
country, so they'll arrange for someone in the U.S. to send you a check.
· They tell you to wire money to them after you've deposited the
check. If you're selling something, they say they'll pay you by having
someone in the U.S. who owes them money send you a check. It will be for
more than the sale price; you deposit the check, keep what you're owed, and
wire the rest to them. If it's part of a work-at-home scheme, they may claim
that you'll be processing checks from their "clients." You deposit the
checks and then wire them the money minus your "pay." Or they may send you a
check for more than your pay "by mistake" and ask you to wire them the
excess. In the sweepstakes and foreign money offer variations of the scam,
they tell you to wire them money for taxes, customs, bonding, processing,
legal fees, or other expenses that must be paid before you can get the rest
of the money.
· The checks are fake but they look real. In fact, they look so real
that even bank tellers may be fooled. Some are phony cashiers checks, others
look like they're from legitimate business accounts. The companies whose
names appear may be real, but someone has dummied up the checks without
their knowledge.
· You don't have to wait long to use the money, but that doesn't mean
the check is good. Under federal law, banks have to make the funds you
deposit available quickly - usually within one to five days, depending on
the type of check. But just because you can withdraw the money doesn't mean
the check is good, even if it's a cashier's check. It can take weeks for the
forgery to be discovered and the check to bounce.
· You are responsible for the checks you deposit. That's because you'
re in the best position to determine the risk - you're the one dealing
directly with the person who is arranging for the check to be sent to you.
When a check bounces, the bank deducts the amount that was originally
credited to your account. If there isn't enough to cover it, the bank may be
able to take money from other accounts you have at that institution, or sue
you to recover the funds. In some cases, law enforcement authorities could
bring charges against the victims because it may look like they were
involved in the scam and knew the check was counterfeit.
· There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money
to ask you to wire money back. If a stranger wants to pay you for something,
insist on a cashiers check for the exact amount, preferably from a local
bank or a bank that has a branch in your area.
· Don't deposit it - report it! Report fake check scams to the
National Fraud Information Center/Internet Fraud Watch, a service of the
nonprofit National Consumers League, at or (800) 876-7060.
That information will be transmitted to the appropriate law enforcement
Check out NCL's new brochure.

If you need advice about an Internet or telemarketing solicitation, or you
want to report a possible scam, use the Online Reporting Form or call the
NFIC hotline at 1-800-876-7060.

we or doing a site on all scamer at

Bruce Atchison - author

May 20, 2010, 1:39:50 PM5/20/10
That's a great run-down on the scammers and their tricky ways. It all comes
down to something being too good to be true. In Pierre Berton's book, The
Big Sell, he examins the various types of scams and shady deals that were
around in 1963. The book is still relevant because the principle hasn't
changed. People like to think they can get something for nothing. Whether
it's turning lead into gold or getting paid for cashing a cheque, the
foolish notion of getting easy money ropes thousands into schemes that leave
them broke.


Bruce Atchison - author of When a Man Loves a Rabbit and Deliverance from

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