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Anatomy of a fake check scam

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Fake checks drive many types of scams – like those involving phony prize wins, fake jobs, mystery shoppers, online classified ad sales, and others. 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 what you are owed – and wire some of the money back to that person. The scammers always have a good story to explain the overpayment – they’re stuck out of the country, they need you to cover taxes or fees, you need to buy supplies, or something else. But by the time your bank discovers you’ve deposited a bad check, the scammer already has the money you sent, and you’re stuck paying the rest of the check back to the bank.

The Federal Trade Commission receives tens of thousands of reports each year about fake checks. Over the last three years, the number of complaints has steadily increased, and so have the dollars lost.

The FTC’s new infographic, developed with the American Bankers Association Foundation, offers some tip-offs to rip-offs and what to do if you get a check from someone you don’t know.

Please share this information with others. Victims may be embarrassed to talk about their experiences, but you can help. A simple phone call, email or text, saying “Look what I just found” and sharing this information may make a difference in someone else’s life.

Want to avoid the latest rip-offs? Sign up for free consumer alerts from the FTC at


I may be dealing with this now. They are offering me $600 a week to carry an ad for a product on my vehicle. They say they will send me a check for $3400, for me to deposit , withdraw my $600 and send the rest to the Ad installer. Then I am suppossed to rec. another check every week for $600. Sounds right, BUT!

Is this one a scam?


I applied for a job to wrap my car about 3 weeks after I received a check for a week in advance and the rest go to the installer to wrap my car I lost for words I deposited the check and it just sits there in my account

i recieved a check in the mail and they didnt ask me for anything except to verify i had recieved the check they just ask me formy full name amount of check my contact email and cell number is this safe

Hi i need help i was sent a cashiers check as payment on my car i was trying to sell, and i called the bank the bank told me that the check is a good check so i went to Wells Fargo, knowing that the check is from wells fargo so i cashed it. now the bank called me about the check and they are telling me it's a fraudulent check that a wire was done to an account and the money is fraud. the bad thing now is that when the bank told me twice that the cashiers check was good i went ahead to spend out of the money. WHAT DO YOU THINK I CAN DO because i used the money to pay my tuition and i don't know where is will get the money from. PLEASE I NEED ADVICE FAST.

I gave my bank card information out to someone and they got access to my account. They told me I would get $5,000 in my account once I give it to them. After I asked a lot of questions about how it works they told me there was no money needed. Eventually found out 3 days later they were writing checks and stealing money from the bank with my name and identity. I contacted the bank to shut my card off and I filed a report to the police. Lost prevention contacted me today and said that it's my fault they have my information so now either I have to pay the bank back the money or they will be contacting a different police department to take me to jail. What should I do? I don't have the money and didn't realized after that fact the person was a scammer. I'm new at having a bank card and didn't really know much how legal things can happen like this to me. I'm really not trying to go to jail for something I didn't know was happening in my account. I do have a lawyer but I wonder if there's any other way that can help me.

I am being offered a job as a caregiver for an elderly women, I have had only contact with the son. They are supposed to be moving from out of state this week. He has asked that i make purchases for his mother ( BP monitor, medical bed, wheelchair) before they arrive at a medical company in my area. Items are to be delivered to his new home, address was given to me. He sent a cashiers check saying the funds are from his account officer and to let him know when it has been deposited and to send a picture of the deposit slip and let him know when funds are available. I don't know what to do? should I deposit it? should I just say no and risk the job?

With all this information there is no solution on how to go about getting your earned money back from the scammer???

Scammers are real, just received a brown envelope in the mail with a check for 3,050 for a secret shopper at the nearest Walmart. It came from is best to keep all your information on the names on the check, envelope and the letter.


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