Suspect Fraud? Check First with Us.
Taking the time to protect yourself can save you from a lot of problems.
Despite all the electronic payments taking place these days, paper checks are still out there. Because of this, it's important to stay safe with this potentially problematic transaction. Some of the scams to look out for:
Online marketplace fakery
Many criminals—and make no mistake, they are criminals—scan sites like Craigslist looking for valuable items to “buy” using a check. The only problem is that the check you receive as payment is not real and ends up being worthless. You're better off demanding payment in cash or via a person-to-person smartphone payment app.
No matter if it’s with a check, money order, or other payment method, any time someone offers to overpay you and then have you send the overage back to them, it's time to call off the transaction. You are dealing with a scammer who is looking to send you a fake payment and then pocket your real money.
Love may conquer all, but it shouldn’t be conquering your financial well-being. If you've met a special someone online or in-person, by all means open your heart—just not your checking account. Anyone whose definition of devotion means handing over checks or account information isn't looking out for your best interest.
Mystery shopper fraud
Make no mistake—there are legitimate mystery shopper jobs out there; people actually are compensated to pose as shoppers and rate the service they received in a store. But criminals have also latched on to this industry. You may be asked to pay for the opportunity to work in this field, or you may be sent a fake check to cash to “test” a financial institution or money transfer business. If you find yourself in either of these situations, you';re not dealing with a real mystery shopper company.
No one expects you to be an expert in detecting fraudulent checks. However, you are the front line of defense in exposing phony transactions. If you receive a check that looks unusual for any reason, reach out to BCU before you deposit the check so we can help you determine whether it's real or not.
Generally speaking, digital transactions are much safer than paper ones. It's smart to take advantage of as many of the online money management tools as possible to protect yourself against deceptive practices. And keep in mind that your Credit Union is here to keep your accounts safe. So when in doubt, check first!