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Avoid Scams

Beware! Financial scams are on the rise.

Don’t fall victim to these scammers. Here are just a few of the common financial scams we see. There are more and more being perpetrated every day. If you feel you may be the victim of a scam, call your local police to discuss the matter with them.

FAKE CHECK SCAM

How it Works:

Someone sends you a check with instructions to deposit it and wire some of the money back.

The check is fake but may look legitimate

You may get cash before the bank finds out the check is fake because it could take several days for the check to be returned.

You are responsible for checks you deposit, and if a check turns out to be fraudulent, you will owe the bank any money you withdrew.

 

Common Fake Check Scams We See

Overpayment – You’re selling something on-line or in the newspaper. The buyer “accidentally” sends or gives you a check for more than the selling price. He/She asks you to deposit the check and wire back the difference. The check is returned as fraudulent, you have to pay the bank back the money you withdrew and you’ve lost whatever item you “sold”.

 

How to Avoid Becoming A Victim of the Fake Check Scam

First ask yourself “Did I play the Lottery or enter the Sweepstakes I’ve won?” If the answer is “No”, the check is probably a fake.

Never give the item you’re selling to the buyer until you know that their check is legitimate and has cleared their bank.

Whenever possible, have them pay in cash or wire the funds to you. If a person gives you a check for more than the agreed upon selling price, have them void that check and issue you one for the correct amount, and verify that the check has cleared before giving them possession of the item.

Do not withdraw any funds relating to the check until you’re certain it has cleared the purchaser’s bank.

 

GRANDPARENT SCAM

How it Works:

A grandparent receives a call from someone claiming to be their grandchild in distress. Maybe they’ve been arrested and they’re afraid to call their parents. Maybe their car has broken down and they can’t reach their parents.

When the grandparent doesn’t recognize their grandchild’s voice, the caller claims a bad connection or they’ve got a cold or allergies.

The caller asks the grandparent to wire them money, typically using Western Union or MoneyGram.

The caller asks the grandparent not to notify other family members.

 

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of the Grandparent Scam

Before wiring money, verify the information with other family members.

Develop a family password that only you and your other family members know. Make sure the caller gives you the password before talking to them.

If they can’t give you the password or the call makes no sense, tell the caller you’re going to call the police and hang up.

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT/IRS SCAM

How it Works:

You receive a call from someone claiming to be a member of law enforcement such as the local or state police, FBI or DEA telling you you’re going to be arrested if you don’t wire money to pay your fine or court costs.

You receive a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent telling you that you owe taxes and telling you to wire money immediately or your house and property will be seized and you’ll be arrested.

The caller may know a lot about you making the call seem legitimate.

 

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of the Law Enforcement/IRS Scam

Know that NO LEGITIMATE MEMBER OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OR AGENT OF THE IRS IS EVER GOING TO CALL YOU DEMANDING THAT YOU SEND THEM MONEY!!!

Do not engage in any conversation with the caller during which you could possibly provide personal information that the scammer could use to steal your identity.

Tell the caller that you’re calling the police and hang up.