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Financial Security

Fraud Prevention Friday – April 23, 2021

With fake check scams, a person you don't know sends you a check for a typically high dollar amount and then asks you to send the money to another person. There is usually a story that goes along with the check as to why you can't keep it all and need to send it to someone else. These checks could look like business checks, cashier's checks, money orders, or even electronic checks.

Some types of fake checks can come from scams about:

  • Mystery shopping - they "hire" you to evaluate a retailer that sells gift cards, money orders, or a money transfer service. The shopper gets a check to deposit and then wire it to someone else.
  • Car wrap decals - people are told to deposit a check from the advertisement on their car and then send the money to decal installers who don't actually exist.
  • Overpayments - if you sell things online, the buyer might "accidentally" send a check for too much and ask you to refund the balance.

How you can avoid a fake check scam:

  • Never deposit a check that is sent to you to send gift cards, money orders, or wire money to strangers.
  • You shouldn't have to pay for a prize, so don't.
  • Don't accept a check for more than the price you are selling an item for.

Want to read more about fake check scams? Visit our friends at the FTC. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-spot-avoid-and-report-fake-check-scams#Types