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According to the Consumer Federation of America, 1 in 3 American adults has received a counterfeit check, and of those, 2 percent actually deposit the checks and send money to the scammers. That's about the same response that a legitimate direct marketer would receive.

Cons sends a check to pay for goods or a service, but the amount exceeds the asking price. The scam works checkbookwhen a victim cashes the check then wires money by Western Union or Moneygram. 

Banks are obligated to make deposits available within 48 hours, but it can take weeks for a check to clear. Once the check bounces, the funds will usually be withdrawn from your account. You are ultimately responsible for the checks you deposit.

Learn how to recognize these schemes at www.fakechecks.org and read our warning about wire transfer scams.

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