Fake Check Scams: What are they and how to avoid being scammed?

A 30-second read by the Baron Team: What is a fake check scam?: According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a fake check scam is when “someone sends you a check with instructions to deposit the check and wire some or all of the money back.”

The FTC provides some examples of Fake check scams:

Foreign Lottery – you receive a letter saying that you won a foreign lottery with a cashier’s check and how to deposit it.

Mystery Shopper – you get hired to be a mystery shopper and evaluate the customer service of a company. You receive a check to deposit and you’re told to withdraw cash and wire the money using a money transfer service – often sending money to someone out of the country.

The problem with being the victim of a fake check scam is that the check may look legitimate and it may get past a bank teller – so it may not register to be a fake check until weeks after you deposit it. If the check is deemed fraudulent, you the depositor will be responsible for repaying the bank.

To help avoid being a victim of a fake check scam, the FTC advises that you don’t ever wire money to a person who:

  • you don’t know
  • asks you to deposit a check and send some of the money back
  • says that a money transfer is the only form of payment they will accept
  • pressures you to “act now”

Read more about check and other wire money scams from the FTC.

Please reach out to your Baron Team with any questions.