A scam involving counterfeit checks is making its way around the internet, and if you’re not careful, you could be its next victim.
That’s according to Fox 6 Now, which reported this week that a man named Jerry Peterson received a priority mail package after applying for a mystery shopper job online. Inside was a check for $3,830, along with detailed instructions on what to do with it.
Peterson was told to spend $180 at Staples and/or Office Depot and pocket $400 for himself. He was instructed to wire the remaining $3,250 back to the original sender immediately.
After discussing the package with his wife, Peterson realized it was a counterfeit check scam and called police. In a counterfeit check scam, the target is meant to wire the requested funds, deposit the check and ultimately wind up on the hook for all those dollars when the banks discovers the check is fraudulent. Fortunately, he didn’t lose any money, but Peterson told Fox 6 Now he’s receiving at least two calls a week from different phone numbers asking him if he finished his “assignment.”
Remember, it’s always a good idea to research any company you’re thinking of working for or doing business with before turning over sensitive personal information (like your cell phone number). And it’s a good idea to be particularly wary of companies sending counterfeit checks and/or asking you to wire money — two popular methods among scammers.
If you think you’ve been a victim of a counterfeit check scam, you should report the fraud to your local authorities. And if you think your personal information has been compromised, you should monitor your credit to make sure new accounts weren’t taken out in your name. You can do so by pulling your reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing your credit scores each month, also for free, on Credit.com. A sudden drop in credit score is a sign that identity theft may have occurred.
More on Identity Theft:
- How Can You Tell If Your Identity Has Been Stolen?
- What Should I Do If I’m a Victim of Identity Theft?
- How Credit Impacts Your Day-to-Day Life