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).