Delaware State Police would like to remind the public to be aware of a popular money scam that has been occurring, according to State Police Spokesman Jeffery Hale.
Hale said this scam involves strangers conveniently stopping you and asking if you can cash a check for them. The suspects will advise that they cannot cash the check themselves because they do not have an account at an American bank.
In exchange, they’re willing to give you some cash for your time and trouble. The suspects will either ask that you withdrawal a sum of money from your account in good faith before they turn the check over to you, or they will give you the check and have you deposit it into your account and then withdrawal a sum of money. The check is written for a much higher amount than the amount of money you are asked to withdrawal.
Here’s the catch: Although the check is deposited, it hasn’t actually cleared. So even if you think you pulled the money from their check, you actually pulled money from your funds and handed them over to the criminals. If you withdrew money from your account prior to receiving the check from the suspects, they will then distract you and flee without turning the check over to you.
In order to not become a victim of this scam, do not cash a check for anyone, much less a stranger. If someone tells you that they cannot cash a check at a bank do not believe them. It is possible to cash a check at a bank as a non-customer although they may have to pay a fee which is much less than the sum of money they are promising you for doing them a favor unless they have other motives.