Double-check that check in the mail: It might be bogus

Double-check that check in the mail: It might be bogus
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - You've heard the phrase "the check's in the mail." Better double-check, though, because it might be a fake.

State Rep. Bob McDermott was surprised recently by what arrived at his office in an envelope marked Priority.

"Psychologically you say, 'Oh. This is real because they spent $5 to send it to me,'" he said.

Inside was a check for more than $1,900 from a California company called Marin Printing Equipment.

"I've had various business interests in my life. I don't know if this is something somebody owed me or what," McDermott said.

He was skeptical so he double-checked. The company is real. The check looked real too, down to Bank of America's routing number, but it's a counterfeit.

The Better Business Bureau's Jason Kama said this is a revival of a old check scam.

"It'll either come with instructions or instructions will be emailed to you later to tell you this is an overpaid check," he said.

If you've made the mistake of depositing the check the scammers will demand some of the money back. That's how they make their money.

McDermott called Marin Printing and emailed a photo of the check.

"That's exactly the right thing that you should do," Kama said.

McDermott learned the check wasn't legit, but many people get fooled. That's why the scam reappears during the holiday season.

"I imagine a lot of folks get a check like this and say, 'Hey. Must be a mistake. They'll figure it out.' And they'll deposit it," he said.

If the check is bogus, your bank will eventually bounce it and you're responsible for repaying the bank.

The fake check scam also utilizes money orders and cashier's checks.

For more information on this and other check scams, click here.

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