Desperation leads to desperate practices.
“Buyer beware” is not a new concept. Buyers can not assume that everything is as it should be even in the best of times.
But, we don’t live in the best of times. Americans everywhere are scrambling to maintain some level of financial stability. Some are doing more than scrambling and assuming that whatever they can get away with is ok. It appears that they may be right.
Who’s watching the store?
Don’t even assume that there’s someone out there looking out for your best interests. The scams are becoming so common place that, more often than not, they’re simply shuffled under the carpet. If you aren’t diligent you may find yourself in a peck of trouble.
Case in point:
I received a FedEx Overnight Delivery Saturday. It contained on piece of paper…a check in the sum total of $2,455.00. All sorts of red flags were raised when I saw that. The check was apparently written on an account for a company in Boulder. Checking online I discovered that the business and its address were both correct..I checked. But wait, I could not verify the actual address of the JP Morgan Chase branch in Denver CO that was indicated on the check. More to the point. why would a company located in Boulder write a check from a branch in Denver CO? And, neither of these addresses had any clear connection with the individual who sent the FedEx from Pennsylvania. More telling, there was no letter or explanation for the check. And the memo line on the check had “For Cash” written on it.
I wasn’t about to cash a check like this without further research. And neither should you, if an apparent windfall lands on your doorstep. Even if you’re desperately in need of money, this is probably nothing more than a trojan horse guaranteed lead to all sorts of trouble.
To their credit, the JP Morgan Chase bank in Colorado, explained that there are a lot of these kinds of checks floating around. Usually they come with a letter of some kind although this one did not. To their credit they suggested I take the check into a local branch and have them take a look at it. To their shame…the banker took a look at it, told me it apparently wasn’t legit but told me they don’t follow up on these kinds of situations and I could do whatever I wanted with it. And, because I told him I didn’t want to keep it if it were not a good check, he proceeded to tear it up in front of me.
Good. That “check” no longer exists. I didn’t run it through my bank and there’s apparently nothing that can come back to haunt me.
But, again I ask, who’s watching the store?
Whoever is at the bottom of this scam got away with this one..and you can be sure they will continue to send these kinds of checks out – eventually some desperate unsuspecting receiver will cash a similar check. Don’t let it be you.
Joan-Marie Moss is a published author and technical writer with more than 27 years experience creating and managing print manuals, online help manuals, websites and more.