In a world where paper checks are becoming less and less relevant it’s amazing how much of a boom there is in check cashing scams. Here at NorthState Check Exchange we unfortunately see these check cashing scams in all their shapes and sizes on almost a daily basis.
A person wanders into our business with a paper check from some company, a lottery organization, or a secret shopper marketing group conveniently located on the East Coast. The person then plunks the check down in front of one of our tellers with dollar signs sparkling in their eyes and a heart full of the hope of easy riches. Of course their hopes are quickly dashed as our tellers do their due diligence and begin the process of verifying the check. Funny enough, often we can tell the checks are fraudulent and a check cashing scam by just their appearance.
Many times the checks tend to look like someone just printed them off their computer, which they probably did! The color blue seems to be the color of choice when creating a fraudulent check. Anyways, upon the scrutiny of verification we find one of two things, either the check maker, the person or organization on the check doesn’t exist or the check maker and even the account numbers on the bottom of the check are all real but the check it’s self is fake using real account information and will surely bounce if cashed. Checks from lottery organizations are big right now and it is amazing how many people believe they have one a lottery that THEY NEVER EVEN ENTERED, just because an email in their inbox says they did.
But in the end regardless if the check is a lottery winner check or a secret shopper marketing scam or just a good old fashion fake check, the checking cashing scam is always the same one. The criminal accessory or victim in the situation, you choose, is told to take the check into a financial organization like ours, get the check cashed, keep a portion of the proceeds for themselves and send the rest of the money back to the shady folks who sent them the check in the first place. Of course the fake check bounces and the financial institution and possibly law enforcement is hot on the trail of person who cashed the check while the check cashing scam artists who created the check have disappeared with their ill-gotten gains.
The people who cashed the check and received the “easy money” have their joy quickly erased when they have law enforcement knocking at their door and collection calls on their telephone message recorder. So if you receive a check you have no business receiving with promises of shared rewards for cashing such a check, BEWARE, you are about to be scammed!! REMEMBER YOU CAN’T WIN A LOTTERY YOU NEVER ENTERED!