There are many posts on this blog about the mystery shopper check scam. A recent comment on one of those posts asked:
What would happen if I cashed the check in but never wired the money to anyone? Just kept it to myself. The thought came up but I wouldn’t ever do it.
Cashing the check would be a bad idea, and I am glad that this commenter understood that. My response was that there is no money to keep–the check would eventually be returned and the bank would take back any money they had given, as well as charging fees on the returned check. And it could be worse than that.
Here is a news story from New Mexico television station KOB4 about what happened when one woman decided that she would “scam the scammers.”
The bottom line on this is that the woman who was arrested knew that someone was trying to scam her. She thought she would be clever and use the cash from the check to pay her bills and buy things. Apparently she had not considered the part about the check being worthless. And that passing a forged check is a crime.
Her bail was set at $2500–ironically, the same amount as the fake check she tried to cash.