Fake Check Scam

The Prescott Police Department has seen an increase in Fraud Schemes and similar crimes. Criminals that perpetrate these crimes often prey upon a victim’s honesty and good nature. Often times the criminal will demand immediate action and threaten consequences for nonpayment. They will try and make the victim nervous and push them into quick payment.

While there are many types of scams, the fake check scam recently surfaced at our own police department. On Thursday, January 28th, Chief of Police, Debora Black received an overnight Fed Ex package containing a fraudulent cashier’s check in the amount of $26,980.23. Investigators at our department quickly determined the cashier’s check was counterfeit. As a result, we expect this type of scam could be present throughout our community.

How the Scam works
Typically, a person will receive a check from a scammer for a variety of reasons. They are then told to use part of the funds to pay some sort of fee, taxes, charges, or other costs associated with the scam to a third party. The victim is assured they can keep most of the check for whatever the transaction involved. Days later, the victim discovers the check bounced at the bank and they are now liable for the full amount of the fraudulent check and any money they returned to the scammer or spent themselves.

How to avoid counterfeit check scams
• Do not accept a check from someone you do not know
• Do not wire or send money to people you do not know
• Never cash a check you are not expecting
• Always verify a check’s validity before depositing
• Never provide any personal identifying information
• Tear up the check and discard

The Prescott Police Department believes that an informed community is a safer community. We ask that you never provide any unsolicited identifying information. For more information related to current frauds and prevention methods, please visit the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov

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