This scam starts as a text message that offers you $600 per week merely for displaying a small sticker on your car apparently for advertising purposes.  If you click on the link contained in the text message it will lead you to instructions as to how to get your sticker and first check.  The first check comes in an amount for more than $600 and you are instructed to deposit the legitimate appearing check into your bank account and wire the excess funds back to the company that sent you the check and sticker.  However, if you deposit the check and wire money to the scammer, the money that you wired to the scammer is gone from your account forever and the temporary credit to your bank account that you received when you deposited the check is rescinded.  Checks paid to you for more than what you are owed is the basis of many scams including the infamous mystery shopper scam.  Whenever you receive a check, wait for your bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account. When you first deposit a check, your bank is required by law to give you temporary credit for the check.  This is called provisional credit.  Many people are not only falling for this scam, but also sharing the text messaged offer on social media and thus unwittingly spreading the scam.

TIPS

These counterfeit checks look quite legitimate and you will not be able to readily determine that it is counterfeit.  So don’t ever depend on a check being legitimate until it has fully cleared.  Don’t rely on provisional credit which is given after a few days, but which will be rescinded once a check bounces and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest. That is always a scam. Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds  because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop. Never agree to any business arrangement without first checking out the company with which you are doing business.

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