Don't bank on that check

Scammers know how to design phony checks to make them look legitimate. In fact, the Council of Better Business Bureaus just released a list of the most “risky” scams, based on how likely people are to be targeted, how likely to lose money, and how much money they lost. Fake checks were number two.

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, someone asks you to deposit a check – sometimes for several thousand dollars – and, when the funds seem to be available, wire the money to a third party. 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’ll need to buy supplies, or something else. But when the bank discovers you’ve deposited a bad check, the scammer already has the money, and you’re stuck paying the money back to the bank.

So don’t deposit a check and wire money or send money back in any way. Banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take them weeks. If a check you deposit bounces – even after it seemed to clear – you’re responsible for repaying the bank. Money orders and cashier’s checks can be counterfeited, too.

Want to avoid the latest rip-offs? Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Iam interested in recieving them checks

Nice post!

What do I do with a counterfeit check? I was sent one and didn't fall for the scam, and still have the check.

Dan, it is no good to you so shred it. :-)

I think I would watch it go up in flames. It's not as much fun as watching real money burn, but almost as fun.

everyone of these people r in. a team they are all scamers k

I am interested in knowing what to do also. I had one come and did various research on the check itself and seeing if everything could be matched up to legit bank legit routing and account, ECT. I was able to detect a fraud but later received one that verification was made on everything. The bank said it was real and even after 6 days waiting to touch funds they stopped payment or something right after I finally withdrew. Wow. I am literally lost. I recently lost my leg and we are selling things to fix my prosthetic and now I'm out of more money. It still amazes me how cold and dirty people really are. I'm losing my bank account. So to ramble. Ty

I was scammed with a fake payment on my credit card! The card company told me to use my card, so I did! Then after I had used the card, the credit company told me the deposit was fake, so now I owe them for the money I spent!

Thank you you for sending me this information,

The phone companies are scamming us as well. Take Verizon.for example, in the areas where they installed FIAS, Verizon take an advantage to charge a lot of more money, and other provers follow after them. I am wandering how you are reacting on their scamming?

And how about the bank where you deposit the legal looking check only to have the bank finally say it was fraudulent and they charge you another $12.00 on top of the charge for the funds that they said were good? Any way you look, you are the one getting the shaft.

A "religious" church deacon who is 75 played this trick on me.

Very Interesting and informative. Thanks so much.

I just received 2 phone cashier's checks from a credit union and I don't know who sent them. I won't deposit them because I was scammed recently. It's really frustrating......my acct is negative $1400 because of the first scam and I don't have a job!

My sister lost all of her Social Security to such a scam and cannot pay her rent. Please warm all Disabled and Seniors who are too trusting, uninformed and easier to be deceived.

People who look for jobs on popular job sites and post resumes on CareerBuilder for example are often victims of the emails offering jobs that are not actual legitimate job offers.

I got one of those phony checks, took to my bank and had them check it and they claimed it was okay ( a big name bank). I made them put it into an account I barely use (except to put some money into) and let it sit there. Took them about 3 weeks to discover check was a fake and to discredit amount. I lost no money in process and the scammer got no money either.

Once you've been identified as someone who's been taken in a scam, the crooks pass your name and information onto yet another crook, because they think you've gullible and can easily be scammed again and again.

Thank you, very interesting information.

it happenened to me also what a fool I was brett moore palm springs area craigslist

Yes, I was scammed and I am now very suspicious of anything that doesn't look right or is too good to be true. It usually is - TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!!

They got me the first time I did it. But do they realize you not going to be a fool twice or three times.Don't fall for anything unless you check it out first. Go online to find out if it's real or fake.

I don't deposit checks I don't expect - if I know I don't deserve the money, I throw it away. Being gullible is not the only problem with these phony checks.

I had to job offers, mystery shopper got 2 checks and thank God for FTC they are aware of these scams and I returned them right back to the person and contacted these scammers​ and told them remove my name, email from there system. I to am looking for work and you see these job offers on major job sites and it's tempting because I need a job. Very sorry for the ones they have already scammed especially senior as they depend on that income. Thank you FTC for keeping up with them just catch these scammers.

Thank You for the feed back.

Great information...

I think the rule of thumb in these kinds of situations is if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! Why would you get money for no good reason???

Thank you for the information you provide me. I was scammed once on a credit card scheme. I hope these people know that one day something bad is going to happen to them. What goes around comes around. Hopefully you Federal People can make them realize that what they are doing has some serious consequences. Taking the money is one thing, but the feeling that you've been taken advantage of hurts a lot more than the money they take, especially when you don't have much to live on

In the local newsletter received the other day was an add by ADT. All the equipment was to be put in the home free of charge. $28 dollars monthly fee was to be charged monthly. When the installer arrived he started the work and asked me to sign the paperwork. On seeing it I protested. Proceeding with the work he finally gave me a bill for $1516.50. I was horrirfied and said I would write a check. ADT had already take all the info, on my bank. I have taken it out of you credit card he said. I called the Discover Card and also Chase Bank. The bill was $606.82 Plus $28.00 month. I beg Discover card to not pay anymore. They said they could not do that without approved! Who me? ADT should be ashamed of themselves.

When a company doesn't do what its advertising promised, the FTC wants to know.

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

i have dealt with the same scammers 3 times. they want me to give them a couple hundred dollars and tell me the federal trade commission wants to give me a grant of 9,900 dollars as a grant for being a disadvantaged citizen. this time they want a $200 apple i tunes gift card!! what????? i catch them by looking up reverse phone numbers. the federal trade commission does not give grants either.

I woke up this morning to a random mobile deposit to my bank account for $3847.44. There was also a western union transfer of funds in the amount of $3100 out of my account sometime while I was sleeping as well. I am extremely confused and I don't know what to do. I have changed my online banking password but what should be my next step??

Do you remember telling someone your bank account number?

If you didn't give anyone permission to deposit or withdraw money from your account, contact your bank.

Report that someone used your bank account without your permission. Ask how to protect your account.

I just got a US treasury check. Most the security features check out including the ultraviolet printing and bleeding ink. The only thing that doesn't match is the tiny printing under the skirt and the bottom line. I used   www. fiscal. treasury.gov         to check on authenticity. The weird thing is it says it's a refund check from 2015 and includes an interest payment of $113.71 and we all know IRS doesn't pay interest on refunds. This appears to be a VERY clever deception. Also I'm not expecting a refund this year.

Got a 1836 check from "mystery-shopper' scammer. Fortunately I felt it sounded too good to be true since I didn't seek employment with them. The usual scam you get 300 for sending 80 percent through Moneygram to someone you do not know. Please don't fall for these crooks - file a complaint with us postal as well as your states attorney. What you get is taken for bank fees - and the $$ you send on that will come out of your acct.

i was frauded 8 times they​ would be a simple thing such as a bicycle they send me a 3400$ check want me to get the money i need tjen give the rest to a cod shipper

My mother received phone call from someone claiming to be one of her grandsons. He said he was in jail and the only way to help him get out was for her to give the jail Walmart gift cards...they ripped her off for $8,000 in walmart gift cards...Nobody will investigate this. Walmart was able to give us names, addresses and tracking numbers for the orders and they are going to a warehouse in california and a trucking company in oregon. Can the FTC do anything to stop these criminals?

You may want to contact law enforcement in the location where the scammers picked up the cards.

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The FTC doesn't handle individual cases. It collects information to use and share with other law enforcement agencies for investigations and large cases.

How about this. Years ago I was a personal trainer and back then if you was nationally certified you could rent out gyms to train your clients as long as if your clients was members.So I was using Golds gym and was the only trainer nationally. The rest was just certified by gym and no good anywhere else. I paid gym 20% for letting me use it. I wound up head trainer and they put me on pay roll to for all the orientation and health evaluations when I didn't have a client. I built my clients up to 17 3 days at 35 dollars a session. That's 35 times 17 times 3 which was good even after 20%. I got their money up front and signed contract if no show no call just lost that session. Now for the pay roll orientations I got 7 dollars a head. I took 4 at a time so 28 dollars ever hour I did it. I also wrote programs if couldn't afford training at 50 a month I did 8. Well I stayed busy from 5 am to close. Rest started complaining but they come in asking for me. Well gym moving so for 2 weeks took clients across town to another one. Then day of reopen said no longer needed our services New owner. So I went to get my last payroll check got to bank account was closed I lost out over 6500 and my clients cause of it so I have nothing for holds anymore

I have been privy to several different scams this year, I will list them below so you can be warned!
1). 3/27/2017 A check in mail from Walmart Inc. Signed by Jeffrey A----, Senior VP, Finance & Treasurer. For $1.893.25, sketchy letter, to go to website first at www.prioritymarketstores.com....States my earnings from total check are $350.00, and rest to be spent in 2 seperate assignments. Mentions The Gap, Wal-mart,& Pizzahut. States this is Confidential, no personal info is needed to do job. Check has more watermarks on it than a WaterBuffalo!and says telfax phone# will be available at above website after I logg into account.
2).3/2017 Received a letter stating I was behind on Timeshare payment and was going to lose property and etc. (I DON'T NOR HAVE I EVER HAD A TIMESHARE)Sorry threw away so info is gone.
3). 12/13/2016 My Ebay sales post for my computer, sold 6 min. After posting, I received email from ebay, then an eBay email from buyer, they sent same to me & buyer containing our contact info??¿ Post showed the man had payed for, PayPal had no such funds. I called Ebay, they related the buyer had been able to manipulate the sale post to show it was paid. That's why they released my info to him. I had Pay Pal only as choice to pay. This locks sale or deletes from your basket if you don't pay, this man hacked Ebay! And The ebay rep. Acted like its no big deal, they stopped the sale and I never shipped computer. How can I ever trust EBAY to sell there again?
4). I sell on mercari, and other apps, Scam is email, saying they are interested for another party, family member or newest themself, I have received 8 so far from diff. Buyers using Gmail addresses. They want me to contact them by email with my final price...item I am selling is usually a higher priced one.
IF YOU EMAIL THEM & FOLLOW THRU....
1. They ask your name & bank info to have a CASHIERS CHECK DRAWNUP.
2. They arrange to Deliver check to your home personally & pick up item.
3. Someone shows up, gets you to allow them in your house, they are looking (casing) for you valuable assets they can see in side your home.
4. They pay w check, take item & leave.
5. Your home is monitored, when you leave..purportedly to bank to cash check, they Robb your home.
6. Your bank accts have already been drained after you gave info for fake cashiers check, they got your item, robbed your home, and your bank, 3 thefts in one!
5). On a local sales app like LETGO, ETC. Posting shows pic of huge amount of cash, asks if you want to make easy money? I messaged guy in app. to see what scam was, he told me he worked for MONEYGRAM, H e would go to his job, I needed to go to my local money gram at Kmart, send him $250. He would upon receiving, change the wire electronically to $2.500.00 & reverse back as unreceived. If I wanted more, I just send him a higher amount. How DUMB IS THIS....Yet people fall for it, the greed of Free Money! His formula for the transaction didn't make any sence to me, but someone innocent of how transfers work would think it sounded great! I left him, probably at his MONEYGRAM location.

IF IT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT DEAL, IT ISNT!
IF YOU GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING, YOU DON'T THEY TAKE FROM YOU.
IF YOU HAVE TO GIVE A STRANGER OR COMPANY YOUR PERSONAL INFO OF ANY KIND TO GET A GREAT DEAL?......
IT IS A SCAM! BE SAFE, BE SMART, CHECK IT OUT BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, GOOGLE THE ISSUE IF YOU CAN, BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU CHECK, JUST DON'T TAKE THEIR WORD FOR ANYTHING, CHECK MORE THAN 1 AVENUE TO VERIFY SITUATION!

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.