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It's your lucky day!
It's your lucky day!
You’ve just won a contest you don’t even remember entering! You got a letter in the mail explaining everything – and a cashier’s check to cover all the taxes and fees. All you have to do is deposit the check and wire some or all of the money back to the sender to pay for the taxes and fees. Once they receive your payment, you’re guaranteed to get the rest of your prize.

The catch – this is a scam.

The check, as convincing as it looks, is counterfeit. The entire contest angle is a scheme to get you to wire money to someone you don’t know. If you deposit the check and wire the money, your bank will soon notify you that the check is counterfeit. And you’re out the money because money you wire cannot be retrieved, and you’re responsible for the checks you deposit – even if you don’t know they are fake. This is just one example of a counterfeit check scam.
Tips to avoid scams
Even though the thought of winning money is tempting, it really is better to be safe than sorry. The following are some 'red flags' that could give you hints that the transaction is not real.
- You're asked wire money to someone you don't know.
- You've never had any association with the sender.
- You're asked to keep this transaction confidential until after you wire the money.
- You're instructed to call the sender with your bank account information.

It all boils down to the old adage - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!


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