ScamWatch: the old cash-and-send-back scam

We recently had a member come in with a check for almost $3,000, along with a letter that said if she cashed the check, put the money into a cashier check, and sent it back, the company would send her a $50,000 “federal grant.”

Now, right away your fraud sense should be tingling. But to this member, that sense was silent.

Sadly, the member had already sent $300 of her own money to this company to get the process started. When an American 1 employee told this member that the deal was most likely a scam, the member disagreed and walked off in a huff. She probably went and tried to get the check cashed at another financial institution to get the “deal” rolling.

Friends, this is definitely a scam. Any agency that sends you a check, asks you to cash it, and send the money back in a cashier check is dealing with fraud. Why would anyone ask you to do something so silly, unless the original check was a fraudulent check?

Yes, these are tought times, and yes, families can use all the help they can get. But this is no time to fall for scams like a free $50,000 “federal grant” that comes out of nowhere.

Be on guard against mailings and e-mails that sound too good to be true. Because…well, you know the rest.


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