We are seeing an increase in check and money wire scams.
Check scam: A professional looking check is sent to you by an unknown sender for any variety of reasons. It's usually accompanied with a written explanation of its purpose, and will ask you to cash the check, keep some of the money for yourself, and send the rest to another location. In many instances, your bank will cash the check right away, but then will penalize your account when the check is presented against the fraudulent account. By then, the victim has already sent the money to the scammer, and is responsible for the entire check's amount.
Money wire scam: Residents, mostly elderly, have reported getting phone calls from someone claiming to have one of their family members incarcerated in a remote prison. The caller goes on to say that it will cost a certain amount of money for lawyer's fees, bail, and to re-open the case. The caller then provides the resident with money wire information. Once the money is wired, it is usually determined that the money was sent out of the country.
These scams usually originate out of the country, and the probability of finding the person responsible is very slim. Please be aware of these and other scams so you can protect yourself and those around you.