Fake Check Scams –How to Identify, Avoid and Report Fake Check Scams in Nigeria

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People often fall prey to initiators of fake check scams not only in Nigeria but almost everywhere in the world. Undeniably, one of the reasons for this is that the supposedly deposited funds (through the check scams) may be available in the victim’s bank account. While the funds from a fake check might be available in your bank account, this doesn’t mean the check is legitimate as it usually takes banks longer periods to clear checks.
Fake check scams constitute the commonest categories of scams and they exist in various forms. One way you can identify fake check scams is to be familiar with the various tricks adopted by their initiators. Therefore in this post, you’ll find out some of the common fake check scams and ways you can avoid them.
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Business Scam

The victims of this form of fake check scam are usually owners of small businesses. What happens here is that the scammer contacts the victim, trying to engage the victim’s service. Then, he’ll negotiate the price of the desired service with the victim. Once a price agreement is reached with the victim, the scammer then forwards a fake money order or cashier’s check to him.
Afterwards, the scammer will lie to the victim that he shouldn’t have sent him the check. Simply, he’ll claim the check is for someone else and ask the victim to cash it and wire the difference to the supposedly intended recipient.

Overpayment Scam

This is an online-based check scam wherein the victim (who happens to be an online seller) is contacted by the scammer who falsifies as a potential buyer. The scammer may affect to be somebody willing to hire a facility or buy a listed product. He likely indicates false interest in buying a vehicle or other large ticket item.
Simply, he achieves his deceptive motive by forwarding a cashier’s check (bearing a larger amount than the price tag of the listed item) to the victim. He then requests that the victim wire the surplus amount to an agent, claiming that it will serve as the payment for shipping or taxation.
This is how the scam works and upon sending the surplus amount, the victim finds out that he was sent a fake check. The bank declares the check worthless and subjects the victim to the payment of wired money.

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Foreign lottery

Fake Check Scams –How to Identify, Avoid and Report Fake Check Scams in Nigeria
This is one of the effective fake check scams whose victims happen to be greedy individuals. In this scam, the victim is sent a fax, letter, or e-mail (or receives a call) stating that he/she is the winner of a foreign lottery and that a check will be sent to his/her mail. The scammer then sends the victim a cashier’s check which looks very formal. The victim is asked to deposit the check in a bank also ensuring a part of it is wired to a particular agent.
As usual, the scammer claims the part to be wired to the named agent will cover taxation or certain underlying fees. Sadly, the victim is usually tempted to wire back a certain part of the money because the scammer claims he must do so before he can be fully entitled to the prize promised.
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Essential Tips for You to Avoid Fake Check Scams

  1. Do not believe in any prize entitlement coming from a foreign lottery. Foreign lotteries are usually scams. Don’t ever think you can win a lottery you never entered
  2. Don’t assume any cashier’s check is equivalent to cash. It takes thorough examination for your bank to consider a check legitimate and then clear it
  3. Don’t fall prey to unknown online buyers willing to pay more than your product’s listed price
  4. Don’t ever wire money to unknown foreign buyers


Fake check scams have been around for quite long. Although unsuspecting people continue to fall prey to these scams, you can always avoid them by following the safety tips mentioned in this post. If you happen to have fallen victim to a check scam, report immediately to your bank, the agency involved in the money transfer or a relevant authority.

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