Local resident resists check scam

Published 10:58 pm Monday, July 7, 2008

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Shaun Crutchfield was suspicious when a nearly $4,000 check arrived in the mail recently.
A little digging revealed she was targeted by scammers - and she hopes no one else in the Brewton area is taken in by the scheme.
The letter from “J.C. Financials” that accompanied the check instructed Crutchfield to call a number about her lottery “winnings.” When she called, a woman told Crutchfield to deposit the check in her bank account before she could receive the rest of her money.
Smelling a rat, Crutchfield refused, but she said other people might believe the scam was real.
The Web site ripoffreport.com, which allows users to write their own experiences with similar scams, includes several reports about the same letter and check scheme.
Debbie Hardee of BankTrust in Brewton said bank employees see similar scams every week.
So how do the scammers profit from your deposit of a bad check?
Hardee said some banks - BankTrust is not among them - could return the bad check, with your account information stamped on it, to the originator of the check.
The checks, as was the case with the one Crutchfield received, are real, but they aren't good.
Anyone who is suspicious of a check can bring it to their bank for help, Hardee recommended.