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Fake Check Scam



In a fake check scam, a person you don’t know asks you to deposit a check — sometimes for several thousand dollars, and usually for more than you are owed — and send some of the money back, to them or another person. The scammers always have a good story to explain the overpayment. They might say they’re stuck out of the country, they need you to cover taxes or fees, you’ll need to buy supply a fake check scam, a person you don’t know asks you to deposit a check — sometimes for several thousand dollars, and usually for more than you are owed — and send some of the money back, to them or another person. The scammers always have a good story to explain the overpayment. They might say they’re stuck out of the country, they need you to cover taxes or fees, you’ll need to buy supplies, or something else. lies, or something else.

Fake check scams come in many flavors, but they all boil down to someone convincing you to deposit a fake check and then steal your money. Here are a few common examples:

  • Overpayment Scam: You’re selling something online and the buyer accidentally sends you a check for more than the asking price. They ask you to cash the check, keep your agreed-upon selling price, and wire them back the difference. The check is fake, but by the time the bank figures it out, you’ve wired them your money and they’re gone.

  • Mystery Shopper Scam: Someone offers you a job as a mystery shopper, evaluating a store that sells gift cards or money orders. They send you a check to deposit, then instruct you to buy gift cards or money orders with some of the money and wire it back to them. The check is fake, and you’re left holding the bag when the bank takes back the funds.

  • Foreign Inheritance/Lottery Scam: You receive notification that you’ve inherited a fortune from a distant relative or won a foreign lottery. The catch? There are fees or taxes you need to pay upfront with a conveniently provided check. This check is fake, and once you deposit it and send the “fees” the scammer disappears.

Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Never cash a check from someone you don’t know, and don’t send money back based on a fake check deposit. If you’re unsure about a check, always contact your bank directly.

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