Identifying Check and Money Order Scams

Scammers trick millions of us out of billions of dollars every year, using slick technology and old-fashioned mind games. We hear a lot about seniors being targeted, but it can happen to anyone.  Scamsters are constantly inventing new ways to rip us off, and anybody can be at risk. The U.S. Postal Inspector has come up with eight questions to help us identify a potential check or money order scam:

ThinkstockPhotos-89684110.jpgIf you can answer yes to any of these questions you could be involved in a money order fraud or about to be scammed!

  1. Have you received a check(s) or money order(s) for an item you sold on the Internet such as a car, boat, jewelry, etc.?
  1. Is the amount of the Check(s) or Money Order(s) MORE than the item’s selling price?
  1. Did you receive the Check or Money Order via an overnight delivery service and/or are you being pressured by the sender to cash it quickly?
  1. Is the Check or Money Order connected to someone you know only by email?
  1. Is the name on the “sender” portion different than the name of the person you have been dealing with?
  1. Have you been informed you were the winner of a lottery, such as Canadian, Australian, El Gordo or El Mundo, that you did not enter (It is ILLEGAL to participate in foreign lotteries, and most DO NOT EXIST!)
  1. Have you been instructed to “WIRE”, “SEND” or “SHIP” money as soon as possible to a large U.S. city or another country such as Canada, England or Nigeria?
  1. Are you receiving PAY or a COMMISSION for facilitating money transfers at your credit union or for re-mailing merchandise that is sent to your home or business?  (Identity thieves recruit people for these purposes, BEWARE!)

If you think these things may pertain to you, ask the member service representative at your credit union to help you and if needed ask how to file a complaint.  If you cash a counterfeit Check or Money Order anywhere even if you send some proceeds away you will be held responsible for all of it, and you could be charged with a crime!

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