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How to Spot and Avoid Fake Check Scams

Published March 21, 2024

In recent weeks, we've witnessed a concerning trend of college-aged students (17-23) falling victim to fake check scams. These scams typically involve receiving a counterfeit check via email, often in connection with a job application or scholarship offer.

What to Know about Check Scams Targeting College Students

Victims are depositing these checks through mobile deposit, only to discover later that they were fraudulent and can suffer significant financial loss in the thousands! It's crucial for students to remain vigilant, especially on social media and job search platforms, where scammers often target unsuspecting individuals. Stay informed and protect yourself from falling prey to these deceptive schemes.

It's crucial for college students to be aware of the growing threat posed by fake check scams, particularly those targeting job seekers on popular platforms like Indeed or LinkedIn. Scammers are now taking outdated ads from legitimate employers, changing them, and reposting them as seemingly genuine job offers. These false ads often promise remote work opportunities, such as personal assistant or customer service roles, and request personal information like Social Security and bank account numbers under the guise of setting up direct deposit.

How to Avoid

To avoid falling victim to these scams, it's essential to remain vigilant and know how to spot the warning signs. Here's what you need to know:

  • Verify Job Openings: Before applying for any job, visit the official website of the organization or company you're interested in. Most legitimate companies have a dedicated "career opportunities" or "jobs" section on their website where you can find verified job listings.
  • Do Your Research: Take the time to research the company offering the job. Look up the company's name along with keywords like "scam," "review," or "complaint" to see if others have reported fraudulent activity. Learning from the experiences of others can help you avoid potential scams.
  • Beware of Unsolicited Checks: Never deposit a check from someone you don't know if you're asked to send part of the money back to the sender. Legitimate employers will never ask you to cash a check and then send them money—a common tactic used by scammers to steal funds.
By staying informed and exercising caution, college students can protect themselves from falling prey to fake check scams and other fraudulent schemes. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Stay safe and trust your instincts when navigating job opportunities online. Never hesitate to contact us if you suspect a potential scam. 

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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