Fake Check Scam Warning Signs

Fake checks drive many types of scams, and chances are you have been the target of a fake check scam.

Scammers are creative and the check scam can take on many different forms - from phony prize wins, fake jobs, mystery shoppers, to online classified ad sales, and more. In each scam, the scenario is similar. A person you don't know will ask you to deposit a check into your account - sometimes for several thousand dollars and usually for more than what you are owed. They will then explain to you that they paid you too much money and will ask you to wire some of those funds back to them. 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 need to buy supplies, or something else. By the time your bank discovers you've deposited a bad check, the scammer already has the money you sent and you're stuck paying the rest of the check back to the bank.

The Federal Trade Commission receives tens of thousands of reports each year about fake checks. Over the last three years, the number of complaints has steadily increased, and so have the dollars lost.

The below infographic offers some tip-offs to rip-offs and what to do if you get a check from someone you don't know. Please share this information with others. Victims may be embarrased to talk about their experiences, but you can help. A simple phone call, email or text that shares this information may make a difference in someone else's life.

Fake Check Scams Infographic