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Be cautious about what ends up in your mailbox

Posted: 10:32 AM, Aug 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-22 19:23:59Z
These days there are so many class actions settlement that could bring you money.
 
Money back from overpriced tuna fish, moldy washing machines, and other products.
 
But how do you know if offers of free money are real, or if you could be falling for a scam?
 
By now everyone with a brain knows that a check in the mail from an African prince, wanting to share his fortune, is fake.
 
Today's scammers are more sophisticated: is this check real or bogus?
 
The Consumer Federation of America says watch for these signs an unexpected check is phony:
 
  • It is for only a partial payment: you have to send money to get the rest.
  • It requires you to wire funds by western union for any reason.
  • Or the company name on the check and company name on the envelope are different.
  • Signs of a real check?
  • It is a settlement from a class action suit.
  • It is for less than $100.
  • You are not required to do anything but cash it.
Fake checks can even fool savvy people.
 
The Consumer Federations says beware checks and letters showing legitimate logos like Walmart, Costco, and Best Buy.
 
They often claim you have been chosen to be a mystery shopper, and they are all fake.
 
Fall for it and you'll say doesn't that stink?
 
No one will send you money in advance to do mystery shopping.
 
If a check shows up unannounced in your mailbox, make sure there are no strings attached if you cash it.