Advice to avoid check scams

FRESNO, Calif.

In the Action News series, Safe From Scams, Action News Anchor Jason Oliveira found that cashing it could end up costing you big time.

"He sent me a check for $50,000," said fraud victim Taylor Campbell.

Campbell is talking about the person she met online who claimed he was stranded in Africa.

"He wanted me to send him a portion and send it to him as soon as possible so he could get home to the states and take care of his dad," said Campbell.

But Campbells online friend left out a crucial piece of information.

"It was a fraudulent check," Campbell said.

"They mail you a counterfeit check, you deposit the check, you wire the funds and you're out the money," said postal inspector Renee Focht.

Banking regulations require banks to release funds before a check clears, but once the bank realizes the check is a fake, the victim is responsible.

"When you receive a check and sign the back of it, you're endorsing the check; you're saying that check is good,"

Some advice, don't be so trusting of who you meet online. That's the number one thing. If you receive a check from an unknown source, don't deposit the check, don't wire the funds, don't become a victim.

Keep this in mind, there is no legitimate reason for someone to give you a check and then ask you to wire the money somewhere else. It just doesn't make sense.

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