Scammers posing as Nationwide Insurance reps sending phony checks

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Better Business Bureau of North Alabama has received reports this week from consumers who have received a letter that appears to be from Nationwide Insurance with a Canadian stamp stating they are the beneficiary of a settlement in the amount of $75,000. Included in the letter is a check in the amount of $1,936.80.

The letter urges recipients to call the Ontario, Canada number listed in the letter for validation. When consumers call the number they find out that they are to deposit the check and then call back for further instructions.

How it Works:

You receive a check in the mail from someone you don’t know. Many of these checks look sophisticated and official. The instructions are usually always the same asking you to deposit the check received and then forward another check usually by Western Union or some other wire service to an agent for the required fees or taxes. After a few days, the check will bounce, and leave you responsible for the funds.

Many consumers may not understand that the financial institution is required by law to allow its customers to withdraw funds, but the customer is still responsible if there aren’t enough funds to cover the withdrawal.

Remember, any time you sign the back of a check and deposit it you are taking responsibility for the legitimacy of that check. Therefore, it’s a good idea to call the bank on which the check is written and verify its legitimacy first. Bottom line, if you receive a check in the mail from someone you’ve never met, don’t sign it.

Learn more at bbb.org.

Fake letter

Fake check