We all have heard about the good old check cashing scam where con artists send you an anonymous check in the mail and tell you to cash it at your own bank only to find out later the check bounces. Many people fell for that scam! Well, what do you think about the new checking cashing scam that has a twist to it and the check is actually good? Huh? How’s that possible?
Well, it goes like this. I previously wrote two articles about job postings on Craigslist.org that were scams. It gets even sweeter than that. I proved to myself the jobs were in fact scams by applying for one of them. I applied for the position of Classifieds Advertiser. This position was posted in five different states; California, New York, Illinois, Washington D.C., Arizona. The same type of position only called by a different name of Online or Regional Recruiter (post employment classifieds) was posted in Georgia and New York again in September and continued in October. These postings instructed you to send your resume to an email address and they used several different ones. Once you send your resume in they respond to you by email telling you they will mail you a check they want you to cash at your bank immediately, send the funds back to them to place ads in several newspapers. That part we are familiar with.
Now, for the twist. Since many of us received those old checks in the mail (including myself) those that were smart called the bank the check was drawn on, like I did and received the bad news the account was a fake one, did not exist. In this scam I called the bank located in Springfield Virginia to see if the check was good. To my surprise they told me the check was good and the account was a valid one. What? I wasn’t supposed to hear that! So, the detective in me called the company who owned the account and spoke to a supervisor there. And, they said the checking account was in fact their checking account number and how did I get that check?
I explained how I got the check from the job postings. I also told the supervisor if I were a crooked, greedy and stupid person I would have ran not walked to my bank to cash it since your bank told me it was good. I’m sure I made his day. But he thanked me for being honest and wanted to get his hands on that check so he can send it to security. Most people would have cashed this check but the damage would have caught up with them in the long run. The con artists have gotten smarter and added a sweet twist to this old scam.
The moral of the story is, do some research on a company you intend to work for. Don’t send your resume in until you have done your research. Speak to someone at the company and ask if they are hiring for the mentioned position. Beware of ads that have no contact information and just an email address. In my case copyright infringement happened here as well. So, check out the website address of the company. Is it noticeably different from the company name? Most companies get website addresses that mirror their names or close to it. And, never, ever cash a check you received in the mail even if you think it’s a good one. Notify the U.S. Postal Inspector. And, if you are getting emails advising you to do so, notify the Federal Trade Commission.