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Is that check in the mail real? An easy way to spot the fakes

Posted at 4:26 PM, Aug 05, 2016

I don't look forward to getting my mail.  It's full of ads and bills. But a lot of you are getting checks in your mailbox.

Like Brenda, who signed up to be a mystery shopper. Then she got a check for $1,985. Another viewer was selling a car. She got a check for $2,500. It was more than the amount owed. Both checks came from legitimate banks and appeared to be real. Both are fake.

Anytime anyone is overpaid or paid for work they didn't do yet; it's fake. You deposit the check. You're asked to wire or send part of it somewhere and keep the rest. Three days later, you find the check is bad. Your money is gone.

But, there are checks you may get that are legitimate. They're usually for smaller amounts like the one viewer TJ received.

The check supposedly came from the Federal Trade Commission for $26. It turns out it is real. It's a settlement involving weight loss claims and green coffee bean extract.

But it's good to question any check from someone you don't know. An internet search and a call to the bank can usually let you know.

Check out the latest scams we're seeing. Sign up for our monthly email newsletter by clicking here.

Need my help? Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 1-855-323-1515. You can also send me an email or a video email where you attach a video explaining the problem.

And you can reach me on Twitter, "like" the Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.

AND WE NEED YOUR HELP!  If you want to be a volunteer and help other consumers, let me know.