The Better Business Bureau says fake checks have become an epidemic, and that it's not seniors but young people who are now falling for this new scam the most.
Abigail Gamble knows exactly what they are warning about because she was targeted by these scammers.
She is a college student looking for part-time work as a bookkeeper.
She applied for a home bookkeeping job at a legitimate employment site, received an email stating that she was hired and then received a FedEx packet at her door.
"They sent me this check for $2,300 to buy a computer and all the stuff I would need," she said.
It seemed on the up-and-up. But only when her ATM rejected the check, due to some coding issues on the paper check, did she ask a teller inside, and realize she was about to be scammed.
The Better Business Bureau now calls this an epidemic, where scammers send fake checks and then ask you to send a portion of it back to them. You lose hundreds of dollars when it bounces a week later.
Red flags of a scam
So what are the warning signs you're about to be scammed?
- The check is just a partial payment for your work – you have to send them money to get the rest.
- It requires you to wire money via Western Union, or purchase iTunes gift cards and read them the numbers on the back.
- The name on the check and the name of the company sending it with are different, such as a farmer supply company sending you a $3,000 check to do mystery shopping work at a grocery store.
- You are advertising something for sale on Craigslist or Facebook and someone sends you a check for more than your asking price.
Bottom line: No one will ever send you big check before you start a new job, or send you a check for more than you are asking for, for an old car or boat.
That way you don't waste your money.
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