Counterfeit Check Scam
One of the latest counterfeit cashier's check schemes involves scammers who send out letters to consumers congratulating them on having been selected as a "secret shopper" of a retail store. The consumer is offered a large-sum check to deposit, and instructed to send a portion of the money back—usually to a fictitious person or business address—in order to complete the store's evaluation. By the time the check clears and is discovered to be counterfeit, the consumer is out several thousands of dollars.
In a recent scam, a member received a check in the amount of $3,475, along with a letter, instructions and an evaluation form from "The Shopping Group." The member was asked to deposit the check and send a portion back by Western Union to a relative in Canada, to rate Western Union's service. The check, allegedly from Primebank in Annapolis, Maryland, has been verified as counterfeit.
What makes these check scams work is that most people place a great deal of confidence in cashier's checks. The counterfeit checks are generally of good quality and may even fool the bank initially.
The Web site, www.crimes-of-persuasion.com advises that anyone who receives a cashier's check for deposit or as a payment should call the issuing bank or financial institution and make sure it authorized that check.
NCUA Fraud Alert Info