Woman who received fake check has a warning for others

Molly Waldron

Woman who received fake check has a warning for others

CREATED May. 29, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Imagine getting an unexpected check in the mail for thousands of dollars. All you have to do is a short survey, and you get to keep part of the money.

It's an offer that sounds too good to be true, and Contact 13 found that it is.

Sonja Washington couldn't believe her eyes when she opened up an envelope last month. Inside was a survey from Western Union, along with a large check.

"It looks exactly like a original, legitimate check with the numbers and everything," Sonja said.

The instructions told Sonja to cash the check and keep $300 for herself. Then, posing as a potential customer, she was instructed to wire $1,800 through Western Union. Then all she had to do was answer the survey questions about her experience.

Sonja says something didn't feel right about the whole process.

"No one sends you a check for $2,400 and you don't know it's coming," she said.

So Sonja emailed Contact 13. We called Bremer Bank, whose name is on the check, and they say it's a fake check. They are aware of the scam.

We also called the company that sent Sonja the check. When we tried to ask them about their business, they hung up on us. 

"Anytime you receive a check in the mail and they're telling you to send something to Western Union, don't do it," Rhonda Mettler with the Better Business Bureau said. "That's wrong and it's an absolute scam."

The Better Business Bureau says the scams work because they lure victims with the promise of big money. 

"Consumers, even though they know it's too good to be true, there's still that wishful thinking. And they let it override their better judgment," Mettler said.

But Sonja says she knew better, and wants to warn others.

"Do a little research before you get excited about money," Sonja said.

Here's the Contact 13 bottom line: The BBB says if you receive an unexpected check, don't deposit it or cash it. Make sure you tell your bank where you got it, and ask them to verify if it's legitimate.

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