Don’t be Fooled by Phony Checks

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September 28, 2007 LITTLE ROCK The scam is not new. You get a letter notifying you that you are a big winner in a lottery. You may even get the prize check in the mail with the congratulatory notice. All you have to do to become a big winner is deposit the check and wire money to the sender to cover some taxes and fees. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Most consumers realize that it is too easy, and recognize this as a fraudulent fake check scheme. However, scam artists have repackaged this same scheme with a new pitch, and one Arkansas consumer recently reported losing $5,000 in a fake check scam included within a mystery shopper solicitation. In this solicitation, the consumer is recruited to become a mystery shopper and is provided a check to deposit in the consumers bank account. The consumer is instructed to use his account to make purchases and forward fees to the scam artist. Only when it is too late does the consumer discover that the check is no good and that their money is gone. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to remind Arkansans that scam artists sometimes modify a scam once the previous version has been exposed.No matter how authentic the check looks, it is not good. Consumers who deposit the checks into their accounts and authorize the wire transfer soon learn that the check didn't go through and that they cannot get the wired money back. Scammers now have high-tech printers and scanners that allow them to make checks that look real. When you combine this technological sophistication along with a false promise of a financial windfall