Live 5 Scambusters: Lowcountry mother saves son from fake check scam

VIDEO: Mom saves son from scam

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Scammers are targeting your money even if you've been hit hard by the coronavirus shutdown and make sure you read the fine print if you get a check in the mail.

A Lowcountry woman saved her son from a big financial mistake when an unusual package showed up in her mailbox.

“I usually get an email that shows what’s coming in the mail but this letter did not show up,” Trionda Bryant said.

When the priority mail envelope arrived for her teenage son Bryant was skeptical and opened it. Inside she found a check for $2,495.

“I was like, why would they send him this kind of money without strings attached?” Bryant said. “That’s when I read what they told him to do with it and I knew then it was not right.”

The check included a letter addressed to a prospective secret shopper. It explains that “Due to the epidemic of Coronavirus” this was an offer to evaluate the Post Office and FedEx.

The letter included instructions to cash the check, buy four postal money orders worth $500 each, and pay any fees included. The leftover money, approximately $400 would be his payment for these services.

“As he’s there he’s supposed to critique the customer service he receives from the post office,” Bryant said.

Bryant says her son likely would have cashed the check if she hadn’t found it first.

“He swore up and down that these people wouldn’t do that to him and this was a legit check,” Bryant said. “Young people get excited. They see money and they get excited, not knowing what this money could cost later on down the line.”

This is a standard check fraud that could come from a variety of scams including secret shopper or fake jobs. If you receive a check and are instructed to spend the money in order to get paid you should assume the check is fake and report it to law enforcement. If you end up depositing the check and spending the money you could find your account overdrawn and subject to investigation.

If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at Scams@live5news.com.

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