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A fast-growing scam, this may target consumers who rent property, sell items in Internet or newspaper classified ads, search for work-at-home opportunities, believe they've won a foreign lottery drawing and many others.
In this ruse, the consumer receives a check and is asked to send some of the money elsewhere. For example, a consumer might advertise a car for sale for $10,000. The consumer then receives a check in the mail for $15,000. When he contacts the buyer to point out the mistake, the buyer asks that the remaining $5,000 be sent back to him. Meanwhile, the original check will bounce (even if the bank at first says it looks legitimate).
Tip: a check for a lot more money than you are expecting is a red flag.