Counterfeit checks happen more often than you think. In fact, FNCU members have deposited $23,185 in fake checks in the last three months, and $53,090 in the last 12 months. And that’s not counting the dozens of counterfeit checks we catch before members deposit them. Because the checks look real, credit union and bank employees may only catch them by asking questions about it.
Anyone can get scammed if they don’t know what to look for, because scammers are very good at what they do and the offer sounds legitimate. Being aware of check scams can help you from being scammed out of your hard-earned money. Prize wins, fake jobs, mystery shoppers, and online classified ad sales are some of the most popular check scams.
If someone you don’t know gives you a check and asks for some of the money back, it is a scam. Here is a typical story: You are trying to sell something online. A person offers to pay for the item with a check, and then comes up with a reason for writing the check for more than the purchase price. The person asks you to give them back the difference (either in cash or by wiring money to them). Then the check bounces, and you are left liable for the entire amount.
If you ever wonder about a check you receive, tell us your story. We will try to help you determine whether or not it’s a scam.