Cons to Banking over the Internet Trying to Fix a Clogged or Frozen Home Equity Line

Common Check Scams

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1. You get a cashier's check in the mail along with a letter congratulating you for having won a lottery. Then you're asked to send money to process your claim or to provide confidential information to open an account at "their" bank to receive your winnings. If you don't remember entering the lottery, this is probably a scam aimed at obtaining your money or personal information that can be used to commit other frauds.

2. You receive an e-mail or fax from a stranger saying he or she can't get a large sum of money out of a foreign country because it has been "frozen" by the government. You're told that with your help and money to pay up-front expenses or the temporary use of your U.S. bank account—the stranger will give you a check once the funds are recovered from abroad. Of course, the money you send will likely be gone, your bank account could be drained if you give them your account number, and any check you receive is most likely worthless.

3. You sell an item over the Internet and the buyer sends a money order for an amount more than the agreed-upon price. The buyer instructs you to wire the excess funds back. If you comply, you will most likely find out that the money order is phony and the money you wired cannot be returned to you.
Tags: scams, warning, checks