Check in the Mail Advertising Scam

Getting some extra money is always a good thing, but before you cash any check that comes in the mail, you'd better take a close look at the fine print. Some very misleading advertising is being sent out and it could end up costing you.

Teresa Whiteaker goes through the mail every day at Meco and says, "we get checks every day, ten, 15, 40 checks." One day the company received a check from for $3.50. It sounded like something from the phone book company.

"It would be easy to stamp it," Whiteaker noted, "put it in the bank and keep going."

But luckily Whiteaker and her coworker noticed this check was not for one of their invoices, and when they turned the check over, they read a whole different story in the fine print.

"When you read the fine print, you find you agree to place an ad on on the internet," explained Ross Howard of the Better Business Bureau.

In fact, once you sign the check, you agree to pay $17.95 a month, more than $200 a year--and your signature is binding. While we were at the Better Business Bureau, they printed a report which shows that is unsatisfactory. The report states customer complaints relating to credit billing practices and deceptive advertising by the company. Ironically, even sent the Better Business Bureau one of its checks.

"At first I thought this might be a refund for something, but I knew we don't do business with that company," said Howard.

The Better Business Bureau says this is legal, but very deceptive and misleading. If you do have a lot of checks coming in to your business, make sure the same person deposits the money and is familiar with any scams.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro