DETROIT (WWJ) – The FBI is warning about a new check scam that pretends ties to the Japanese Consulate in Detroit.
The check, which arrives in the mail, appears to be from the Consulate via a Michigan bank, asking victims to deposit it in their accounts, then forward most of the money to another account.
The money is often gone by the time banks realize the check is a phony, leaving the victim on the hook.
The Detroit Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports the scam has affected people across the nation. In one of the cases, the FBI says the fraudulent check came to someone who had answered a post on Craig’s List for a nanny.
The FBI is advising the public to keep an eye out for these scams and to be diligent when receiving checks or solicitations in the mail or by e-mail. If you don’t do recognize the sender, you should always make sure to validate the name, phone number and existence of an the individual or organization.
Stay informed about the latest consumer scams, as reported by the Michigan Attorney General’s office at this link.