Consumer Alert-Cashier’s Check Scams Continue
PIERRE, S.D. - Attorney General Larry Long today alerted South Dakotans to the ongoing cashier’s check scam. The fake cashier’s checks may appear to be authentic and even include a legitimate U.S. bank and routing number, but it is likely that it has been issued by a crook from a foreign country.
The typical cashier’s check scam works in this way. You are selling something over the internet, such as a car, computer, farm equipment, dog, or other valuable item. You receive an email offer or call through a relay service with the buyer promising to pay by cashier’s check. The check arrives, but it is make out for several thousand dollars more than agreed and then the buyer asks you to wire the difference back to them. Your bank accepts the check and credits your account for the money, so you wire the extra money back to the seller. But then the cashier’s check turns out to be counterfeit and you lose the money that was wired. The money is now gone and untraceable.
"The most important tip I can give is be skeptical of these cashier’s checks," said Long. "These cashier’s checks look so authentic that many banks cannot determine if a check is fake until several days or weeks later. Do not wire money to an unfamiliar source, ever. It is untraceable and you will never see the money again."
South Dakota consumers or businesses with questions or concerns about this scam should contact the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or http://atg.sd.gov/Consumers.aspx.