In a fake check scam, a person you don’t know asks you to deposit a check— sometimes for several thousand dollars, and usually for more than you are owed — and send some of the money to another person. The scammers always have a good story to explain why you can’t keep all the money. They might say they need you to cover taxes or fees, you’ll need to buy supplies, or something else.

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What happens if I DON’T verify WeChat by linking a Chinese bank card? For WeChat accounts without real name verification features related to WeChat pay (lucky money, P2P transfers) will be affected: 1. Non verified WeChat accounts will have a 1,000RMB limit on the total amount of money they can accumulate through lucky money red envelopes. How to check if a loan company is legitimate. There are several ways to check if a loan company is legitimate. First, check out the loan company on your local BBB website. Then do a quick online search and look up customer reviews. Finally, check with your state’s attorney general to make sure that the lender is registered with the proper.

Fake checks come in many forms. They might look like business or personal checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, or a check delivered electronically. Here’s what you need to know about fake check scams.

Types of Fake Checks Scams

Fake checks are used in many types of scams. Here are some examples:

  • Mystery shopping. Scammers pretend to hire people as mystery shoppers and tell them their first assignment is to evaluate a retailer that sells gift cards, money orders, or a money transfer service, like Western Union or MoneyGram. The shopper gets a check with instructions to deposit it in a personal bank account and wire it to someone else. But once the money is wired, the person on the other end can disappear.
  • Personal assistants. People apply online and get hired as personal assistants. They get a check and are told to use the money to buy gift cards or to buy equipment or supplies for their new client. Once the scammers get the gift card PIN numbers, they use them instantly, leaving the “personal assistant” without the money when the bank figures out the check is bad.
  • Car wrap decals. People interested in car wrap advertising are told to deposit checks and send money to decal installers — who don’t exist.
  • Claiming prizes. Sweepstakes “winners” are given checks and told to send money to cover taxes, shipping and handling charges, or processing fees. But that’s not how legitimate sweepstakes work.
  • Overpayments.People buying something from you online “accidentally” send a check for too much and ask you to refund the balance.

Why Do These Scams Work?

These scams work because fake checks generally look just like real checks, even to bank employees. They are often printed with the names and addresses of legitimate financial institutions. They may even be real checks written on bank accounts that belong to identity theft victims. It can take weeks for a bank to figure out that the check is a fake.

Fake Checks and Your Bank

By law, banks have to make deposited funds available quickly, usually within two days. When the funds are made available in your account, the bank may say the check has “cleared,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a good check. Fake checks can take weeks to be discovered and untangled. By that time, the scammer has any money you sent, and you’re stuck paying the money back to the bank.

Your best bet: Don’t rely on money from a check unless you know and trust the person you’re dealing with.

How To Avoid a Fake Check Scam

  • Never use money from a check to send gift cards, money orders, or wire money to strangers or someone you just met. Many scammers demand that you send money through money transfer services like Western Union or MoneyGram, or buy gift cards and send them the PIN numbers. Once you wire money, or give someone the gift card PINs, it is like giving someone cash. It’s almost impossible to get it back.
  • Toss offers that ask you to pay for a prize. If it’s free, you shouldn’t have to pay to get it.
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  • Don’t accept a check for more than the selling price. You can bet it’s a scam.

What To Do If You Sent Money to a Scammer

Gift cards are for gifts, not payments. Anyone who demands payment by gift card is always a scammer. If you paid a scammer with a gift card, tell the company that issued the card right away. When you contact the company, tell them the gift card was used in a scam. Ask them if they can refund your money. If you act quickly enough, the company might be able to get your money back. Also, tell the store where you bought the gift card as soon as possible.

Here is a list of gift cards that scammers often use — with information to help report a scam. If the card you used is not on this list, you might find the gift card company’s contact information on the card itself, or you might need to do some research online.

If you wired money to a scammer, call the money transfer company immediately to report the fraud and file a complaint. You can reach the complaint department of MoneyGram at 1-800-MONEYGRAM (1-800-666-3947) or Western Union at 1-800-325-6000. Ask for the money transfer to be reversed. It’s unlikely to happen, but it’s important to ask.

If you paid a scammer with a money order, contact the company that issued the money order right away to see if you can stop payment. Also, try to stop delivery of the money order: if you sent it by U.S. mail, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455. Otherwise, contact whatever delivery service you used as soon as possible.

Where To Report Fraud

If you think you’ve been targeted by a fake check scam, report it to:

  • The Federal Trade Commission
  • The U.S. Postal Inspection Service
  • Your state Attorney General

Fake Check Scams Infographic

Verify Wechat: New rules for online payments in China come into force in 2 days (July 1st 2016). China Central Bank now requires ‘third party payment providers’ (e.g. WeChat and Alipay) to implement real name verification systems for payment services. The legislation has caused much confusion and debate online. Read on to find out: How do these new rules affect WeChat? How do I know if my WeChat account has been ‘real name verified’ or not? Why is this happening?

Before real name verifcation
After real name verifcizzle

How do I know if my WeChat account has been ‘real name verified’ or not?

WeChat considers accounts which have linked a mainland Chinese bank card as being ‘real name verified’. Once a user binds a Chinese bank card to WeChat successfully, the name verification process is complete. Even if the user later unbinds the card, the verification remains valid.

Me > Wallet > Cards

What happens if I DON’T verify WeChat by linking a Chinese bank card?

For WeChat accounts without real name verification features related to WeChat pay (lucky money, P2P transfers) will be affected:

1. Non verified WeChat accounts will have a 1,000RMB limit on the total amount of money they can accumulate through lucky money red envelopes.

2. Money transfers will be limited to 1,000RMB for single payments, payments accumulated over one day and payments accumulated for a month.

3. WeChat will push notifications for the user to encourage them to migrate their balance of cash out to a bank card. When using payment features WeChat will guide users to complete their real name verification.

Above: A friendly reminder from WeChat

In addition WeChat accounts which do not link a bank cards cannot join WeChat groups of over 100. But this limitation has been in place for a considerable time and has nothing to do with the new regulations and everything to do with WeChat providing users with a strong incentive to link their bank cards.

Why is this happening?

The rules affect all third party payment providers in China. The mobile payments market leader Alipay has recently taken the more serious step of asking users to verify their accounts by linking not 1 but 2 bank cards from different banks!

Above: A friendly reminder from Alipay
The Chinese government recognizes that online transactions are increasingly important to the economy. Compared with the traditional banking industry with its countless forms and procedures, mobile payments seem like a wild west. Apps such as Alipay and WeChat are incentivized to make it as easy and frictionless as possible for users to start using their payment services.
WeChat even helps you fill out you bank card number for you with a scan option

How To Verify Funds On A Check Before It Bounces

During the Chinese New Year Period in February more than

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8 billion lucky money red envelope peer to peer transactions took place (see our previous article here). With such a huge number of transactions between so many different people taking place in such a short period of time is no wonder that the Chinese government is getting a little nervous and wanting more regulation. Verfiy WeChat is getting more important.

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