Fake check scams always involve someone giving you a genuine-looking check or money order and asking you to wire money somewhere in return. After you deposit or cash the check or money order and send the money, you learn that it was phony. The scams can take many forms:
● You unexpectedly receive notice that you are getting a grant from the government or a foundation and a processing fee is required.
● A company hires you to work at home as a mystery shopper or processing payments and instructs you to send money somewhere as part of the job.
● Someone sends you more than the asking price for an item you are selling and instructs you to wire the extra money somewhere else.
● A stranger sends part of the profits you were promised in a foreign business deal and asks you to pay legal fees to get the rest.
● Someone you meet online asks you to cash a check or money order as a favor.
Tips to avoid being scammed
● There is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check or money order and ask you to send money anywhere in return.
● Requests for payment to claim prizes are illegal. Real winners pay taxes directly to the government.
● Government agencies and foundations do not hand out “free” money. They usually provide grants for specific projects based on extensive applications.
● Unexpected offers to make money in a foreign business deal are never legitimate.
● Companies that hire people to work from home do not ask them to send money.
● Scammers ask for payment through money transfer services because it is fast and hard to trace. Only use these services to send money to people you have met in person and known for a long time.
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