Beware the stimulus check scam

With the proliferation of news stories about fake check scams, you think consumers would be smart enough not to fall for them. Obviously, that's not the case.

There's a simple rule consumers can follow which will protect them 100% of the time: There's no such thing as a free lunch. If someone is telling you that you won a lottery you never entered, you've inherited a large sum of money from a relative overseas who you've never heard of, or the government is giving you thousands of dollars just for kicks.... Run the other way.

The latest swindle is a "stimulus check" that has popped up in amounts as high as $7,000. The checks look authentic, which is no surprise considering the technology scammers have to work with. Consumers have reported receiving a check in the mail with a letter that says they can get even more money if they call a toll-free number (and give up some personal information, I'm sure).