Posted: Jul 26, 2010 6:22 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Jul 26, 2010 6:35 PM
According to a study by the Federal Trade Commission, one-third of adults have been approached with fake check scams and more than a million have fallen victim these kind of scams.
One Eunice women, Valon Phillips, almost fell victim to a secret shopping scam. She's received checks for being a secret shopper at least a dozen times through various companies.
"I was looking for a part time job of the internet and mystery shopping came up and I thought yeah I can do this," she said. "It was never this much--$400 for one assignment."
She never thought she'd be the target of a con-artist.
"I just thought a quick $400," Phillips said. "I wasn't thinking in my head that it said to wire it to the United Kingdom.
Phillips received the check from Roy and Bernyce Goldstein made out for$1,950. Along with it, a letter outlining job instructions from JKT Evaluation Incorporated.
The instructions she received---"Go to your bank, where they know your face basically is what he said, and take $400 dollars out for your trouble, and wire the rest of your money to Western Union. "
Questioning the legitimacy of the check-- Phillips did some research and found other stories online of people who had received similar letters.
She said she feels thankful she caught onto the scam before it was too late and was in legal trouble.
Representatives from the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana said fake checks have been a growing trend for a few years now. The BBB recommends verifying the check with the bank that issued it. Also, individuals should not spend any of the funds until the money has been collected by the financial institution.
If the money is spent, you may be held liable for those funds. Check out the legitimacy of a company by visiting www.bbb.com.