How to recognize check scams -


How to recognize check scams

Fake check scammers are trolling for people through the U.S. mail - looking to take your hard earned money.

Know the warning signs that people desperate for money convince themselves to overlook. If out of the blue, a check comes in the mail, that's a red flag.

The check looks real and it's a nice amount, almost two thousand dollars, supposedly from the world's largest retailer, Walmart. It even has Walmart's correct address.

Jason Howell got it with a letter offering him work as a paid shopper. 

"I'd been doing some surveys online and I thought maybe that's how I got in the system but, I didn't understand why it would be coming from Spain when the company is in Arkansas," he said. 

A closer look and you see a second red flag. 

"On the check it says Wachovia," Jason said. "I may still be using my Wachovia checks but by now, a company like Walmart should have made the switch to Wells Fargo." 

The letter gives a website: Notice the spelling? Jason is instructed to activate the check there, then deposit the check in his bank account, deduct his pay and withdraw the balance. So what do you do with the balance? 

After logging on and following the prompts, there were instructions to keep $350.00...salary for the first job assignment which was to evaluate customer service at Western Union while wiring $1,040.00.  

After calling the number on the letter, it turned out it was not Walmart. A recording indicated to go back online. 

Walmart Corporate said they were not happy to find out about this scam.

"We're very unhappy to learn there is a scam intending to defraud our customers...Walmart doesn't participate in secret shopper promotions and has no affiliation with them," wrote Kayla Whaling, Walmart Spokeswoman. 

"If it's too good to be true...but, this one we really wanted it to be true. We hoped it to be true because I'm in college right now. I'm having to pay my way through and I could have used the money," Jason said.

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