Never open a new account for someone who sends you a check.
Who Is It Targeting: Typically targets online dating or romance contacts
What Is It: Scam that steals money from your account
What Are They After: This scam most often affects people who connect via online dating sites or accept friend requests on social media. After gaining your trust, the scammer sends you a blank check and tells you to fill out the amount. You’re instructed to deposit the scammer’s check in your own bank account, then use the money to open a new account in the scammer’s name as a favor to the scammer (who obviously has some very good excuse as to why they can’t open the account themselves). Once you transfer the money from your account to the new account, the scammer takes that money and disappears, and the check you originally deposited bounces for insufficient funds. The money in this scenario came straight out of your bank account and is gone for good.
How Can You Avoid It:
- Be very careful of the things an online friend or love interest asks you to do.
- Never open a new account on someone else’s behalf if you are not directly related to the person.
- Never take money out of your account to give to someone else without waiting to see if their funds cleared their banks.
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from WMTW.com.