Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday) - - TOP NEWS - Source: Bet­ter Busi­ness Bu­reau

• Mys­tery shop­per scam: Vic­tim gets a bo­gus check and is told to de­posit it, keep some as their pay and then wire the re­main­der to test a store’s money trans­fer­ring ser­vice. The vic­tim’s bank doesn’t re­al­ize the de­posited check is a fake un­til long af­ter the wired money is gone.

• Car wrap scam: Col­lege stu­dents sign up to have their car wrapped with the logo of a beer or en­ergy drink brand. Scam­mers send fake checks and tell the stu­dents to deduct their pay and for­ward the rest to the sup­posed car wrap com­pany (which is ac­tu­ally the scam­mer). Later, the checks bounce, leav­ing the stu­dents on the hook.

• Law firm scam: Scam­mers hire a law firm to col­lect money from a sup­posed debtor. The firm reaches out to the debtor, who is ac­tu­ally the scam­mer and who sends the law firm a coun­ter­feit check to pay off the debt. Think­ing the is­sue is re­solved, the firm de­posits the check, takes out its le­gal fee and for­wards the rest to the client. Af­ter that, the check bounces and the firm is li­able to its bank for the money.

• Over­pay­ment scam: Fraud­sters pre­tend they want to buy an item sold on Craigslist or sim­i­lar site. They “ac­ci­den­tally” send a bo­gus check for more than the sale price; then ask the vic­tim to de­posit the check and send them back the dif­fer­ence.

• Nanny scam: Con artists pre­tend to hire a nanny or care­giver, send­ing a fake check to pur­chase equip­ment like a stroller or wheel­chair to pre­pare for the job. The vic­tim de­posits the check, then sends money for the equip­ment to a bo­gus equip­ment seller that’s re­ally a front for the scam­mer. • Lot­tery scam: Fraud­sters tell the vic­tim he’s won a lot­tery or sweep­stakes, then send him a coun­ter­feit check for his “win­nings.” The vic­tim is asked to wire money to pay taxes and fees — but when the check bounces, the vic­tim is on the hook.

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