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Counterfeit Check Scam

Counterfeit Check Scam involves the victim being sent a fake check or bank draft for goods or services.

Examples of the "Counterfeit Check Scam"

MoneyGram Scam
A new scam has cropped up in the Midwest, combining a phony check scam with the popularity of the "mystery shopper" craze. In Monroe County, Wisconsin, the sheriff’s office says it has received several reports of attempts to scam more than $3,000 from local residents.

It works like this: a consumer receives an official looking package that promises to pay $350 for help in evaluating a MoneyGram service. But recipients are instructed to act on the offer within
48 hours, or the offer becomes void.

Inside the package is a cashier's check for $3,575. Recipients are instructed to deposit the check and then use the MoneyGram service to send the scammer the $3,575 back. After the transaction, they are told, they will receive a check for $350.

Police say the cashiers checks are phony, so if victims send a MoneyGram, they're sending their own money, which they can't retrieve. By instructing the victim to act within 48 hours, the scammer makes sure there isn’t enough time for the check to bounce before the victim sends the MoneyGram.

Internet Ad Scam
Be cautious posting ads or selling items on the Internet. A recent scam involves a con artist appearing interested in the item you have posted for sale in a local newspaper or online. The con artist agrees to your price and gives you a check that may say "Cashier's Check" or "Official Check" on it. When the check is deposited at the Credit Union, you are then informed the check is counterfeit.

A similar scam involves the seller receiving a check for more than the agreed upon purchase price. The purchaser then request the overpayment be sent back via wire transfer. After the wire is sent, the check is deemed counterfeit and the seller is out the money and the merchandise.

Inheritance Fraud
The victim typically receives an e-mail or letter from someone with a very confidential business proposal. The letter states that a wealthy individual has died without a will, and they are trying to keep the money from being taken by their corrupt government. This is where they require assistance from the victim.

The writer asks the victim to provide an account number where the money can be transferred, and in exchange for this "service", the victim will be given a portion of the inheritance. A check is sent to the victim to be deposited into their bank account. Then the victim is instructed to send funds back to the originator of the letter via wire, money order, or money transfer in increments under $10,000 and to keep the "extra" money in their account. Days later, the deposited check is returned and is counterfeit.

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