TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS THE BAD GUYS TO WRITE MORE BAD CHECKS WHICH ARE PAID BY YOU
People have been writing bad checks as long as this paper currency has been available. The latest is a con that entices the consumer to trade their good money for bad. There are at least three ways the crooks carry out the scam. One, you get a check from what appears to be a trusted source, like Readers Digest, advising you of a prize, or lottery or cash reward. To win, you must deposit the check and wire back a portion of the funds for fees, taxes, etc. Their check is fake and of course you’re out what you wired. Two is one I can’t believe anyone would fall for…but? You’re selling something on E-Bay and a potential buyer contacts you to buy the item, but wants to send a check with an overage, requesting you send back the difference. Again, their check is bad. Three, the scam artists recruit you as a secret shopper, sending you a check to cash, asking that you wire back most of it except for a small portion for your fee. You guessed it, bogus again. Readers Digest has done a good article on this in the June issue of their magazine, which also gives advice on how to protect yourself. Publishers Clearing House is another big name used by the crooks, as well as Alcoa, Welch’s and Bank of America. According to the National Consumers League (NCL), the average victim is out from $3,000 to $4,000. Folks, they’re coming out of the woodwork.