Don’t cash that check

Wednesday, October 21, 2020
This check, sent to an area business, has checked out to be a scam. The account, according to a Chase Bank representative, does exist, but is not active. Peoople receiving unsolicited checks in the mail, no matter what the purpose should be, should check to ensure they are legitimate. Contributed photo

New scam circulating in area

It’s yet another scam circulating in Barry County.

A local business received a priority mail package from Freforw Logistics, LLC, out of Philadelphia, Penn., that included a legitimate-looking check and a letter with instructions on what to do with the funds.

The check, made out for $2,420, is drawn on a Chase Bank account, using legitimate routing and account numbers. However, a simple phone call revealed something was amiss.

“That account is not active,” said a Chase Bank representative, when asked to verify the account’s status.

The letter, in typical scam-fashion, instructed the recipient to deposit the check with their bank and deduct $400 for their time. The recipient was instructed to purchase Nike gift cards from various sources, scratch off the silver security stripe on the back, and photograph images of the front and back of each card. The recipient was further instructed to include the store name, address, date, name of cashier, and the overall shopping experience. Finally, the recipient was instructed to send all information to an e-mail address.

Unfortunately, a local bank representative said those participating in such activities would be on the hook for all expenditures when the check bounces, as well as return fees associated with declined transactions.

It is typically very easy to check the legitimacy of these unsolicited mailings.

A quick call to Chase Bank and an explanation of the situation got staffers at the Cassville Democrat a quick verification that, although the routing and account numbers were legitimate, the account was inactive.

Another call to the company represented as the sender resulted in an employee reporting, “That has nothing to do with us. We are located in Florida, not California.”

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