Counterfeit check scams are defrauding consumers across the United States and even locally here in South Central Kentucky.
These counterfeiters are able to produce all types of official-looking documents, including cashiers checks.
Consumers are being mailed letters along with a check for various amounts, informing them their name has been drawn from a lottery and are a winner.
"When you buy a lottery ticket they don't ask you what your name is so if this came from a lottery ticket how would they have your name to send you a check.” Chambers says this is the first sign that these are a scam.
These counterfeit checks are being mailed from other countries and some have been traced back to Canada, Africa and Central America. Those scammed say you can actually call a number that is included in the letter and speak with someone.
"The man asked me on the phone do I have any money; I said I don't have any money sir and he said well I am sending you an $1800 and when you get it, cash it."
Once the consumer has deposited the check into their account and they withdraw money from the account, they will then later be notified by the bank that the check is counterfeit and held responsible for they money lost by the bank.
Chambers says there is not a whole lot that can be done about these scams.
The Better Business Bureau and state attorneys general, have these three tips to evaluate the legitimacy of checks you receive from individuals or businesses that you do not know.
1. Make sure the check is drawn from an actual account at a legitimate financial institution. Do not rely on funds availability.
2. Confirm with your institution that funds have been collected.
3. Consult your institution about whether a transaction is legitimate.
If you have questions, call the Better Business Bureau at 843-4443.