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Government Relief Checks Trigger Latest Coronavirus Scam

The federal economic impact package announced this week includes sending every American a check to offset lost income from the coronavirus crisis. Scammers wasted no time in taking advantage of this news! BBB has reports on BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/ScamTracker) about government imposters calling about the checks. Watch out for these phony government grants that ask for personal and banking information.

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Copyright 2020 Better Business Bureau. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

The Bottom Line On Fake Check Scams

If someone you don’t know sends you a check and asks for money back, that’s a scam.

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Copyright 2020 ftc.gov, official website of the National Credit Union Administration. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

Common Check Scams

Fraudsters increasingly use e-mail to contact victims and the most common check scam is the "Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud." You are told you will be sent a check for an additional sum and you are asked to wire back the excess money. Scammers purport to be from other countries and claim you can collect on a sweepstakes or pay you to work at home. The realistic-looking checks or money orders are counterfeit, but victims are responsible for any unpaid item presented for collection.

Tips for our members:

  • Do not accept checks or money orders for an amount greater than the selling price.
  • Do not send refunds or deliver goods in the time it takes cashiers' checks or money order to clear.
  • Be skeptical of anyone asking you to wire money to overseas bank accounts or to cash money orders or checks on their behalf.
  • Know who you are dealing with--never give out personal or financial information to anyone you do not know.

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