Fake check scams on the rise

TOLEDO -- It's a worldwide epidemic hitting close to home. Counterfeit check scams.

You or someone you know may have received one. Before you even think about cashing it.. Call 11 for Action Problem Solver Mika Highsmith has this alert you don't want to miss.

Dawn Lada recently got a check claiming winnings of $250,000. "It said I won the Swiss lotto." The thing is she never entered any drawing.

Lada admits the look of this $4800 check is very real and the thought of free money was pretty tempting. Lucky for Lada, she did her research and found red flags like the envelope missing a return address. "I called the bank, and she said 'No, that check is absolutely bogus.'"

Lada explains the plan. "They want you to deposit the check, but you have to send them $3,000 Western Union, but then the check bounces."

The plan leaves the casher.... cashless.

Lada adds, "When you know something is to good to be true,  it usually is."

It's that thinking that saved Lada. Her only hope is to save you from the same scam. "For someone who's struggling and needs that money, maybe their last $3,000 is in the bank. If they think they've won, it's going to be devastating... absolutely devastating. Don't deposit it."

Highsmith explains, "Bottom line, if you get a check to claim a prize, assume its counterfeit. If you won something, they would just send it. Don't risk calling the bank to check because some tellers aren't hip to the game. The account could actually exist, so they may cash it. You could end up losing money and even being prosecuted."

So protect yourself. If you get one of these checks, call the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney general's office. They just launched a new campaign to stop this scam before it happens.

Whatever you do, just remember... don't cash it.

Posted by LS