Fraud Check Scam

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June 12, 2017 // Security, Technology, Tips


While growing up I remember being told “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is” This has always been good advice when it comes to the many money making scams that seem to plague our world. There are many types of fake check scams, but it all seems to start when a scam artist convinces you to take a check from them, deposit into your account and then wire a portion of the check to another account somewhere in the world. Both the check and their story are phony, but that could take days to discover. However, when the check you deposited comes back as a fake, and it will, the bank is going to expect you to get the money back. You are responsible for the checks you deposit into a bank account. There is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check or money order and ask you to wire money anywhere in return.
Here are some good steps to take if you receive a check for anything:
Wait 10 business days after deposit – Most of these scams require you to deposit the money and then withdraw the portion they want you to wire immediately. If you wait 10 business days, you will know if the check is a fake. This can also be helpful when selling something online and the purchaser wants to pay via money order or cashier check and have someone else pick it up. Cash is always a good way to go with these types of deals.
Ask for a check drawn on a local bank – If the check is drawn on a local bank or the bank has a branch in your area, you can make a personal visit to make sure the cashier check or money order is valid. Don’t do anything until you are able to validate the check. Best practice is to only except a check from someone you know and trust.
Don’t be pressured – Scam artists always use urgency and high-pressure to get you to do what they want. If you start feeling or realize the other person is using these tactics, it is a good sign to walk away.
As a reminder, there is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check or money order and ask you to wire money anywhere in return, EVER!
Check back for more information on the next Mercantile Bank Security Minute.

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