The Fake Check Scam
Don't deposit that check! You will end up paying for it.
It is no secret that people are stealing debit/credit cards and checkbooks from other people.
With washing (creating cards and checks from a victim's account information) techniques becoming more advanced every day, maintaining the privacy of your personal information is incredibly important.
So hypothetically if someone has some washed checks or cards, how does this scammer commit their fraud?
They get you to help them with it, of course!
How do they do that? Well, let's say you are like me and chronically unemployed and desperate to land a job... any job...
Now let's say you're browsing the deed of In (Indeed) and you're applying to everything you are overqualified, underqualified or barely qualified for and someone reaches out and says CONGRATULATIONS! YOU'RE HIRED!
So we celebrate and run a victory lap and pick the phone back up and say SO WHAT'S NEXT?
The reply comes in and they say we just need a bit more information about you and we're going to be mailing you a check so you can get all the supplies you need to do your job.
So you're thinking, cool story bro this remote work stuff is the bees knees I wish COVID happened years ago and you get this check in the mail and you pull out your handy dandy cell phone and fire up your bank's app and deposit this check.
With no surprises, it goes through. You got a new job. You got paid immediately. You're going to buy some new supplies and then your employer reaches out to say, oh sorry we overpaid you, could you send some of that money back to us?
You're an honest person so you say oh no problem, I'll take care of that right away and you send the overpayment back and purchase everything you need to purchase AND THEN YOUR ACCOUNT OVERDRAWS AND YOU'RE GETTING CONTACTED BY YOUR BANK FOR CASHING A BAD CHECK!
Simple Plan's Untitled begins to play out loud in your mind HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN TO ME!?... and you frantically move to damage control mode to try to put everything back the way it was but it is too late.
What happened? The actual owner of the washed cards/checks reported fraud to their bank and now you've been had. You can't reach your employer. Your bank wants to close your account. You're still without a job and now you've lost everything.
This nightmare happens to people. This actually happens. How is it prevented?
- Do not fill out direct deposit forms as a part of the application process.
- Only fill out direct deposit forms after you discover a businesses Federal Employmer Identification Number (FEIN/EIN).
- DO NOT CASH ANY CHECKS SOMEONE YOU DO NOT KNOW TRIES TO SEND TO YOU. Especially if they are super pushy about it. I know my folks want me to deposit the checks they give me in a timely manner so they can keep their accounts balanced but these people will stay on your back about cashing that check. Don't do it.
- Feel free to report these people to your local law enforcement. Sometimes they are so brazen as to use their real names, phone numbers and bank accounts.
Stay safe out there!