Fake-check scams on the rise amid government stimulus payments and other payouts, and although the methods may vary, the scammer’s goal is almost always the same: to get victims to deposit a counterfeit check and then return a portion of the money to them right away.

To help avoid a scam, says Wells Fargo, here are a few things to look out for:

• A prospective buyer sends you a check for more than your asking price “by mistake” and wants the overage back.
• You receive your first check for a new work-from-home job, and the “employer” asks you to send some money back right away for supplies.
• You receive a check for sweepstakes winnings that can only be claimed by sending some money back to cover taxes.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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