Scams on the Rise
Remember the good, old days when “garage sale-ing” was a Saturday morning activity and job searching was primarily done through the newspaper or “Help Wanted” signs in storefront windows? Even though you can still participate in these activities, so much of garage sales and local job hunting has been moved to online social network sites like Facebook, Craigslist, etc. The minute the internet is brought to the discussion you know that internet scams will be, too! Fraudsters use a variety of methods to steal money. We have recently seen a rise in scams involving checks. For a variety of reasons (ex: a Mystery Shopper job paid up front, a Craigslist ad response to buy an item, a request to pay taxes using gift cards, etc.), we see our members receive checks originating from online sites. Due to a seemingly harmless mistake, the check received is made out for more money than originally agreed upon. Our honest members will deposit the check(s) and then turn around and immediately send money back to the scammers. Then next thing you know, the check is returned as fraudulent, and our members are stuck footing the bill! Now there is an easy solution for this, and that is to keep the questionable check funds on hold for longer to see if the check will clear the other institution. This does require some extra patience, but it is the best way to ensure you are not a victim. Be careful and vigilant with the checks that you get from online offers, yard sale sites, or jobs that seem too good to be true and stay one step ahead of scammers!