West Central Ohio
The Better Business Bureau has been receiving reports of a new version of the older counterfeit check scam.
In this version, the intended victim receives a large envelope via the U.S. Postal Service, United Parcel Service, or Fed Ex. The envelope contains a single check with no explanation of what it is for or where it actually came from. The checks range in amounts as low as $4,000 and as high as $10,000.
The recipient is left to wonder why they are getting such a “windfall” and where it came from. The letterhead on the check is a real company with a real address but this company is not aware they are being used in this way. The check is bogus and if cashed, the check will eventually bounce.
After receiving the check, the victim gets either an email or a phone call saying they have won or inherited some large amount of money or merchandise. In order to claim their “prize,” they need to cash the check and send a majority of the money back to the scam artists to “pay for administrative fees” or some other made up charges. That part of the scam is old and has been around for some time.
If the intended victim knows what to look for, this one is easy to spot:
— Checks don’t just arrive in the mail unannounced, especially very large checks.
— Be wary if the return address on the envelope does not match the one on the check.
— People who have a legitimate need to send you a check do not play games, such as sending a check with no explanation and then following it up with an email or phone call.
Such activity should be reported to the agency that delivered the package as soon as possible. Recipients of such deliveries should also report it to the BBB by contacting Neil Winget at 419-223-7010.
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