12 On Your Side: Beware of fake credit card settlement check scam

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / March 20, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- You may have received a settlement check in the mail. While most are real, Gigi Turner with Augusta's Better Business Bureau said some are scams.

"That's the whole idea behind the scam is to lure consumers into believing what they received is a legitimate check," said Turner.

A News 12 viewer showed us a fraudulent check that was part of a real credit card fee settlement from 2006 in which millions of credit card customers were issued refunds.

However the check we received was for $3,750. Turner said it is much more than any consumer would ever receive in a credit card class action lawsuit settlement.

"You're looking at maybe $1.23 check. That I might consider legitimate," said Turner. She said you should always investigate anytime you get a check or money order in the mail from someone you don't know by going directly to the source.

"If you have to Google or use the YellowPages, you're going to do that to look up the business. Call the business," said Turner.

In this case you would call the bank:
The BBB suggests: you try to verify that the check is from a real account; look up the phone number of the bank on the check; don't use any bank phone number printed on the check itself; and call and ask the bank if that account is legitimate.

Meanwhile Turner warns that if you cash a fake check, you will be left owing the bank. "It's up to you to verify whether the information you received is accurate or not," said Turner.

The BBB warns that when there are legitimate credit card settlements and checks are issued, con artists will create look-a-like scams to confuse you. We learned about this story from a News 12 viewer that contacted our Call for Action volunteers. If you would like to volunteer call 803-442-4550 and leave a message anytime.