The best defense against fake check scams is common sense. Whether someone overpays you for merchandise or they claim that you have won a foreign lottery or prize there are some warning signs that might let you know that it is a scam.
- Did you apply for the contest or lottery?
If you did not enter/apply for a contest or lottery how could you have won? Dont let the lure of the prize overpower your judgment. This is the first sign of a scam.
- Do you need to wire transfer money in order to claim your prize?
There is little recourse if something goes wrong with a wire transfer, which is why it is a favorable technique of scam artists. If someone requires you to wire money before claiming a prize, it is most likely a scam. Only wire money to trusted sources.
- Why would someone overpay you for merchandise?
If someone is buying merchandise and overpays you, send the check back to them and ask for the correct amount. Do not deposit the check and send the buyer a check or wire money for the difference.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, contact the Office of Consumer Protection for assistance.