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Check fraud continues to be one of the largest frauds and in particular counterfeit and altered checks due to the increased accessibility of sophisticated desktop software. One scam involving counterfeit checks that remains popular is “Sellers Beware”.
You place an ad in the local newspaper or via the Internet to sell a car, jewelry, motorcycle, etc. An interested buyer contacts you to purchase these items and a price is agreed upon. You are given a check that may say "Cashier's Check" or "Official Check," however,when this check is presented to your financial institution for negotiation, you are informed the check is counterfeit.
In a similar scam the purchaser will send the seller a "Cashier's Check" or "Official Check" for more than the agreed upon purchase price. The purchaser will then request the overpayment be sent back via wire transfer. After the wire transfer is sent, the check is returned as counterfeit. By that time, you are out the merchandise and the additional money.
Don't be left empty handed. Remember, before turning over any merchandise to a purchaser make sure the check you have received is a valid item by verifying the check with the bank the check is drawn on.