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Fraud Education October 2020

by Stacy Wise | Aug 27, 2020

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Fake Check Scams

Fake checks continue to be one of the most common methods used to commit fraud against unassuming victims. Before you deposit a check you weren’t expecting or wire funds to an unknown person, here is what you should know:

 

How do Fake Check Scams Work?

There are many variations of the scam. It usually starts with someone offering to buy something you advertised for sale, pay you to do work at home, or give you an “advance” on a sweepstakes you supposedly won. Fraudsters issue you a check or money order worth more than the amount owed to you and instruct you to wire the excess funds back to them before receiving your lump sum payment. Once you send the money to them, you can’t get that money back and eventually the check or money order they sent to you is returned as insufficient.

 

Tips to prevent fake check scams:

  • Just because your account has been credited for the deposit doesn’t mean you haven’t been scammed. Federal law requires banks to make deposited funds available quickly, but just because you can withdraw the money doesn’t mean the check is good, even if it’s a cashier’s check or money order.
  • You are responsible to repay the funds to the bank.
  • Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the check. Scammers are using sophisticated technology to create counterfeit checks that appear to be real.
  • Never ‘pay to play.’ There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back or send you more than the exact amount.
  • Do not respond to online solicitations for “easy money.” You may see offers online for “quick ways to earn extra cash”, but easy money is rarely legal money.

If you think someone is trying to pull a fake check scam, don’t deposit it—report any suspected fraud to the MNB Customer Service Department at 877-647-5050 or visit any location. Be informed and stay safe.

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