SCAM ALERT: Check cashing for money

Don't fall prey: a recently reported scam in Auburn involves individuals cashing checks in exchange for cash on-the-spot. There are many electronic scams, but one of the simplest scams does not require computers. The "check scam" tries to have individuals accept a check in exchange for cash. Typically, the conversation goes something like this:

  • I need your help. Let me write you a check for $1,000 and you take it to your bank, cash it and give me $500. You can then keep $500 for yourself. The scammer may even say, "You can call my bank and see that the check is good."
  • A few days later, you get a notice from YOUR bank which says the check that you deposited was returned for insufficient funds. The bank may even add fees. You have been scammed and the money is gone.

There are many other similar schemes such as online classifieds, promises of a job (such as a payroll processor or secret shopper), or claims that you have won a prize (lottery and rental schemes to name a few).

Protect yourself and your money. When someone wants to exchange a piece of paper (lottery winnings, jobs, checks) for cash (money order, cashier's check, cash) you are probably only getting a piece of paper for your troubles. This can be a very expensive lesson and some have lost hundreds and thousands of dollars. Remember: checks are not cash!

To learn more, including videos:

Last Updated: August 23, 2016