Have you ever gotten a check in the mail from a stranger and wondered if it was legit? Chances are, it was a fake, and designed to steal your money. Unfortunately, there are thieves who would like nothing better than to separate you from your hard-earned money. At the credit union, we see financial scams in all sorts of forms. One common scam is the use of fake checks.

Recently, there have been a number of people who have fallen for a new one. Here’s how this latest one works. A person fills out an online application to allow a company to wrap their vehicle for advertising purposes. In return, the person receives a check. They are supposed to deposit this check into their bank account, and then wire the company some of it to cover the cost of the vehicle wrap and then they are to keep the rest as payment. The problem is, the check is fake, the company is fake, and the account holder who deposited the check is then out the money they wired back to the thieves.  This is just one version of many of these kind of check scams we see all the time.

Protect yourself by being aware of these scams. Check out Fraud.org to read more about check scams.  In addition, you can sign up for weekly fraud alerts here. And, as always, if you are unsure about a check, ask your financial institution to check it out before depositing.