Safe from Scams: Counterfeit checks

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Counterfeit checks have been around for a long time, but now, U.S. Postal experts say some con artists are getting more sophisticated. (KFSN)

Tricks involving counterfeit checks have been around for a long time, but now, U.S. Postal experts say some con artists are getting more sophisticated.

John Quick is working on his second career as an actor and found a modeling opportunity in "Backstage Daily." The company gave him specific instructions for the clothing and accessories he should buy for the modeling shoot. "I would pay out of a check they would send to me, which I would have to have a bank account for to put this check into."

This retired 20-year veteran of the New York City police force immediately suspected something was wrong. "Checked with some friends in the industry, and they said total scam, back out of it, so I did," said Quick. But not before he did a little investigative work. He tried to track down the company behind the ad. "I realized I couldn't find this particular person on Google or on LinkedIn or anything. I realized it was a scam."

Dan Mihalko, a retired Postal Inspector ,said his instincts were right. "If Mr. Quick had responded to this scam, he would have been sent a counterfeit check." Which he would have deposited and then withdrawn $200 from this bank account to send to the bogus company for so-called "entry fees." Then, days later, he would learn the check was a fake and he was on the hook for the money. "By doing his due diligence he saved himself from being scammed and he saved himself from losing money," said Mihalko.

Postal inspectors also want to remind consumers to resist any pressure to "act now." If the buyer's offer is good now, it should be good after the check clears the bank.
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