What are Fake Check Scams and How do they Work

Fake Check Scams

One typical type of consumer fraud is the use of a fake check Scam financed by a Western Union transfer. We’ll go through how to recognize a fake check scam and some precautions you may take. Have you recently been requested to return a check that you received? If your response was “yes,” you must be aware that you are being duped.

Hustlers who use fake checks ask you to deposit the money and send it to a different location after sending you phony or fraudulent checks. Because of a federal law known as the Federal Expedited Funds Availability Act, many frauds are successful (EFAA).

When you deposit a check, the EFAA stipulates that banks must make the funds available within one or two business days. However, it usually takes longer for banks to determine that a check is counterfeit.

When the bank discovers that you’ve deposited a false check, they take the money out of your account, leaving you liable for whatever money you were sent in cash (or spent).

Despite the growing usage of electronic payment methods, cashier’s checks and bank checks continue to be popular due to the notion that they are safer. Paper checks are a risky method of payment since they can be used by a hacker operating out of a western union hackers forum to steal your money if the paperwork is false. The use of fake checks is one of the most prevalent forms of financial fraud committed against customers.

How does it Work

Here’s an example of how a typical fake check scam plays out:

  • A scammer forges a check to pay for something that they’re purchasing. The check is made out for more than your asking price — like $1,500 instead of $1,000.
  • You cash the check in good faith, and the bank makes the funds available to you before verifying the check’s legitimacy. Your bank shows $1,500 is available in your account.
  • You send the “extra” money — $500 in this example — to the scammer via cash, wire transfer, gift cards, cryptocurrency, or some other non-reversible method. Hustlers often have you send money to a foreign country, making it even harder to reverse.
  • Later on, the bank inspects the check, realizes it’s a counterfeit, and debits you for the amount. Instead of your checking account reflecting a balance of $1,000, it shows a debt of $500.


When a buyer receives a paper check, clerk’s check, or cash request from someone they have no information about, it could be the start of a fake check scam. They are asked if they would like to wire back a portion of that check to the sender or to another group. The beneficiary may be exposed to that amount of money and fall into the same trap that western union hack-free set up using the western union hack tool if they alter the check and inadvertently return a portion of it to the person providing false information. The problem is that this frequently occurs before the customer realizes it is a scam. All banks are needed to make reserves rapidly accessible by law. It could require days or weeks for the bank to understand that the check is “awful”. Meanwhile, the trick craftsman gets the cash and the customer is considered capable.

Types of Fake Check Scams

When it comes to bogus check fraud, there are several combinations. The following is a list of the most popular methods used by hustlers to threaten customers in this financial scheme:

1. Mystery shoppers perform the “evaluation” of money transfer services.

This popular deception involves a “employer” contacting you and promising you the ideal employment; all you need to do is cash a check and send the money to another address.

  • Hustlers post fake job listings or reach out to you via email or social media claiming that they “found your resume” online.
  • After a brief interview (often over WhatsApp, Telegram, or another messaging platform), you’re offered a job “evaluating” a payment processor — such as Zelle or Western Union — by cashing checks and sending the money through the processor.
  • After you’ve sent the money, the check comes back as fraudulent, and you’re left footing the bill.

It’s a fraud if someone asks you to submit money via wire transfer or online if they promise you quick money.

Verify that your prospective employer is an authorized service provider with the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association (MSPA) before accepting a secret shopper job. To confirm their credibility, search for the company on the internet using terms like “scam.”

If you receive a letter purporting to be from the MSPA, disregard it because they never employ mystery shoppers.

2. Offers from car wrap advertisements requesting check payment

These con artists offer you the chance to earn money by placing brand advertisements on your vehicle.

  • Hustlers send emails or place ads on job boards with messages like “GET PAID TO DRIVE.” They offer to pay you a few hundred dollars per week to drive around with a product advertisement wrapped to your car.
  • To get the decal installed, the Hustler send you a check and tell you to deposit it and send the money to the supposed installers.
  • But the decal installer doesn’t exist and the check is fake. You’ve just sent your own money to the scammer and will have to pay the bank back for the check.


To place advertisements on people’s cars, some companies do pay. However, these businesses never issue checks and pay the installers directly; no reliable employer will demand payment from you.

If you come across a car wrap opportunity, do your homework on the provider. Verify if they are a legitimate business. If so, reach out to them directly (through their website) as opposed to using the job posting, which might be fake.

3. Work-from-home jobs requesting that you buy supplies or pay for training

In work-at-home fake check scams, an employer offers you a job but asks you to pay for your own supplies or training before starting the job.

  • Hustlers upload job postings or send a job offer to you via email. After a quick interview, they tell you that you need to buy supplies (like a laptop) or pay for a training course – but they’re happy to front the bill.
  • The scammer sends you a check which you need to cash and send to a “distributor” or “training company” via a payment transfer service like Zelle.
  • Once you’ve sent the money, however, the check bounces, your “employer” vanishes, and you have to pay the bank back.

This situation also seems too good to be true. Your employer won’t need to send you a check beforehand if they’re going to cover the cost of your goods or training. In the same way, a legitimate employer is not likely to want to speak with you over a messaging program.

Additionally, keep a watch out for additional warning signs in job listings. These include requests for upfront money or personal information, dubious email addresses, and material with poor spelling and language.

4. Overpayment scams when you’re selling items online

Overpayment scams are exceedingly common and can be attempted using any type of payment method.

  • Fraudsters reach out about an item you’ve listed online (like on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace) and offer to pay with a check.
  • You receive a legitimate-looking check that’s made out for more than the sale price. The scammer then asks you to send the difference via a cash transfer app.
  • You deposit the check and the amount shows up in your account, so you ship out the item. But then the check bounces and your bank charges back the amount. You’ve now lost the item and however much money you sent the scammer.

Never take a check when you’re selling something online. Markets like Craigslist expressly forbid collecting money orders, cashier’s checks, or certified checks as payment for goods.

End the transaction right away and report the user if they offer to mail you a check as payment. Do not deposit a personal check if the amount is greater than what you anticipated. Instead, request that the buyer issue a fresh check for the appropriate sum.

5. Surprise prize or sweepstakes winnings sent as a check

Fake lottery scams are the third most common type of fake check scam reported to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) [*].

  • You receive an email, text, or letter announcing that you’ve won a lottery or major sweepstakes, such as one from Publishers Clearing House. The letter says to call a phone number to confirm your winnings.
  • When you call, you’re told that there’s a processing fee, taxes, or other costs that need to be resolved before your winnings can be released. They send you a check to cover the costs – you just need to deposit it and transfer the money to a third party.
  • But there’s no prize, the check is fake, and you’re left trying to explain what happened to the bank.

Legitimate lottery organizations will not ask you to pay a fee to collect a prize. If someone asks for payment upfront to “unlock” your winnings, it’s always a scam.

If you receive a message like this, never call the number provided — as it will lead to a scammer and another opportunity to con you. Instead, do an internet search for the sweepstakes, or call the real company directly to verify whether the prize is real or not.

Many legit western union hackers would offer to pay you to do work from home or in a virtual environment and will hack the western union MTCN number and you’ll be left wondering if the western union hack is real. A check scam will happen if a con artist buys something you’ve advertised for sale. Many con artists would say that you have won a sweepstake or a lottery and that they are giving you an “advance” on the money you are owed as a result of the win. Hustlers would submit a note telling the recipient that they have access to millions of dollars, but that they must first move the money from a foreign country to the recipient’s bank account before they can spend it, and in that way they will hack western union MTCN number free. It is often said that this is done for the funds’ “safekeeping.”

How To Avoid a Fake Check Scam

  • Never use money from a check to send gift cards, money orders, cryptocurrency, or to wire money to anyone who asks you to. Many scammers demand that you buy gift cards and send them the PIN numbers, buy cryptocurrency and transfer it to them, or send money through wire transfer services like Western Union or MoneyGram. Once you do, it’s like you’ve given them cash. It’s almost impossible to get it back.
  • Toss offers that ask you to pay for a prize. If it’s free, you shouldn’t have to pay to get it. Only scammers will ask you to pay to collect a “free” prize.
  • Don’t accept a check for more than the selling price. You can bet it’s a scam.


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