Andy's Got Your Back on check scams - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Got Your Back on check scams

(WMC TV) - I swear I've told this story a thousand times, but U.S. postal inspectors have indicated to me that people keep falling for it.

Folks, if a check for a large amount of money arrives in the mail from someone you don't know, rip it up!

'Taylor' didn't. She's a scam artist's dream.

Naive -- believing everyone's basically good -- 'Taylor' was contacted by an unidentified (and unsolicited) man who claimed to be from Africa.

"He sent me a check for $50,000," she said. "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.

So he mailed the check. She cashed it.

It bounced.

"It was a fraudulent check."

You think?!

"They mail you a counterfeit check," said U.S. Postal Inspector Renee Focht. "You deposit the check, you wire the funds and you're out the money."

Regulations require banks to release funds before a check clears, but once the bank realizes the check is fake, the victim is the one who's responsible.

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

"If you receive a check from an unknown source, don't deposit the check. Don't wire the funds. Don't become a victim."

There's never any legitimate reason for someone to give you a check, then ask you to wire some of the funds back. Ever.

That just doesn't make any sense.

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