LSCU COOP / Cooperative Initiatives / Financial Education / Literacy & Outreach Programs / CFA's Fake Check Scam Program

Consumer Federation of America's Fake Check Scam Program

Fake check scams are costing consumers – and sometimes their credit unions – thousands of dollars. In the most common scenarios, consumers are lured into accepting realistic-looking checks or money orders in payment for something they are selling on an online auction or classified ad, for work they are supposedly hired to do at home, or as an “advance” on sweepstakes or lottery winnings. They are instructed to wire a portion of the funds somewhere – for instance, to pay taxes on their winnings. By the time the counterfeit is discovered, the money is gone. According to the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America, the average loss is $3,000 to $4,000. “This is a preventable crime if consumers recognize it and understand their responsibility for the checks and money orders they deposit or cash,” said Susan Grant, CFA’s Director of Consumer Protection.

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions is partnering with CFA to warn consumers about these scams in real time and prevent victimization. CFA will offer League affiliates bulk quantities of a new English/Spanish language brochure about fake check scams at no charge (except for shipping expenses) if they agree to have their tellers hand the brochures to members who come in to deposit a check or money order of $1,000 or more or withdraw $1,000 or more. The project is modeled after a successful partnership between the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and banks and credit unions in that state that has significantly reduced complaints from fake check victims.

The campaign is expected to roll out this fall. If you are interested in participating, please contact Amber Tynan at by June 1, 2010. For more information on the impact fake check scam's are having, click here. To partner with the Consumer Federation of America on the Fake Check Scam Initiative, please fill out the enrollment form found below.