MILWAUKEE --Let's say a check arrives in the mail and you're pretty sure it's fake. Is there anything you can do to be sure? One Milwaukee man had that very question and turned to FOX6's Contact 6 for the answer.
Midnight Estes has done modeling work in the past.
In June, Estes posted an ad on Craigslist seeking local photographers.
"Days later I received a response from a man claiming to work for a magazine company," Estes said.
The person who responded said he worked for En Vogue Magazine and gave Estes instructions on what to do to get modeling work.
"Send him the photos of myself and the basic information. He said he was interested in working with me and I told him I would be interested as well," Estes recalled.
Days later, Estes got a check in the mail for $2,650, but he says something didn't feel right.
"I felt that was suspicious. I said, 'Wait a minute here. Why am I being paid if I have not yet performed any work for you?" Estes said.
Estes was told the money was for the photographer and to deposit the check into his checking account.
"He responded and said, 'I can assure you, this is no scam,'" Estes said.
Skeptical of the entire situation, Estes turn to Contact 6 for help.
Contact 6 called Tri City National Bank where Estes has an account. Bank officials told Contact 6 they would verify the authenticity of the check.
Contact 6 accompanied Estes to his bank. Estes explained to the teller that he suspected the check was fake. The teller had a few questions.
"They asked me basic information such as the person's name who sent me the check and they asked if I had the original envelope," Estes said.
Two hours after leaving the bank, Estes got a call confirming the check was fake.
"I would like for others to be careful," Estes said. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
Tri City Bank offered this advice for anyone who receives a check they think is fake:
- If the check is drawn from a company, call it to verify the check's validity
- Never call the phone number on the back of a check
- If a bank is unable to verify a check's legitimacy, ask it to place the check for collections
- If you're asked to wire funds after you receive a check, it's probably a scam
- If you're selling an item and get more than you asked for, it's probably a scam.