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Beware Before Cashing or Accepting Checks

By Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum

Even when people present proper identification and their driver’s license, one is advised to beware, since there are a lot of people that are brazen enough to pay you either with stolen checks or their own worthless checks drawn on an account that is already closed or that they plan to close after they have given you their check. Unless you know the person, it is not advisable to cash any check. Don't judge people by their outward appearance.  There are lots of stores and people who have recently been ripped off by fraudsters, some of whom even dress and speak like “heimish” people, but in reality are in the business of cashing checks that are no better than Arafat’s peace agreements.

Another widespread scam which these “chevra” pull off works as follows. They go to unsuspecting well-meaning people, often these are Kollel Yungeleit who need the money, and offer them lots of money to lease a new luxury model car using their personal credit or credit card. After that, they somehow manage to change the title and put the car on their own name. The thieves wind up driving a free luxury car such as a Lexus and the victim winds up paying the bill or being dragged to court for non-payment.  Never lend your credit card or sign a credit form for these sweet-talkers no matter what they offer you, for it can lead to financial disaster and ruin your credit. Lately, I've been hearing more and more of these tragedies.

One must also note that identity theft is on the rise and so far little is being done about it, so be forewarned.

P.S. Please make copies and pass along to friends and businesses! A dollar saved is a dollar earned.

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