What to Know About Fake Check Scams
Understanding Fake Check Scams
Here's how fake check scams often unfold:
Scammers may reach out to victims through various means, such as online classified ads, social media, or email, offering a variety of opportunities, including secret shopper positions, work-from-home jobs, or lottery winnings.
The unsuspecting individual will receive a check in the mail, via email, or as a downloadable PDF. The check appears legitimate and may even be drawn from a real bank. It's usually made out for a substantial amount, adding a layer of credibility.
The scammer will then instruct victims to deposit the check into their bank account and once it clears (which can take days or even weeks), send a portion of the funds back to the scammer or a designated third party. Victims are often told to keep a portion of the money as payment.
Weeks later, the bank discovers that the deposited check is counterfeit, and the individual who made the deposit is held responsible for the entire amount. The funds they sent to the scammer are lost, and they may face overdraft fees or even legal consequences.
Protecting Yourself from Fake Check Scams
- Be Skeptical: Always approach unexpected checks or offers with skepticism. If it seems too good to be true, it likely is.
- Verify the Check: If you receive a check, contact the issuing bank directly (using the contact information on their official website) to verify its authenticity before depositing it.
- Never Send Money: Legitimate transactions do not require you to send money to receive funds. Be cautious if asked to send a portion of the money back.
- Recognize Red Flags: Watch out for signs of a scam, such as poor grammar in communications, overly vague job descriptions, or requests for personal or financial information.
- Educate Yourself: Stay informed about common scams and their evolving tactics. Awareness is your best defense against fraud.
Who We Are
As an active part of the community for 93 years, Neighborhood Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial organization serving the state of Texas with branch locations in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, and Tarrant counties. With assets topping $1 billion, Neighborhood Credit Union has a continuously growing membership of over 60,000. For more information, call (214) 748-9393 or visit our homepage.