A.G. warns college students of counterfeit-check scam - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A.G. warns college students of counterfeit-check scam

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -- Attorney General Tom Miller said Wednesday that a new variation of the "counterfeit-check" scam has appeard that poses a specail threat to college students.

The letter claimed to be from "Grant Prospect, Inc.," of Orlando, Florida, and it said the student had been approved for a grant of $50,000. "This Grant is not a loan and you are not expected to pay it back," the letter said, indicating the grant could be used "to pay tuition fees" or other expenses such as a down-payment on a home or medical expenses.

The letter also enclosed a check for $4,420.62 to be cashed and used "to pay for your Federal and State processing fees." The letter said a $40,000 certified check woul dbe delivered to the student one to two days after the required fees had been paid.

"It's a very nasty scam," Miller said. "The student goes to the bank and cashes the check. The bank accepts the check and provides the cash, since it's such a good counterfeit. The student wires the money to the scammer. The counterfeit check bounces in a few days, but the money is already gone - and the student is liable for it.  And the scammer disappears," Miller said.

Miller encouraged families to discuss the scam and warn students about it during the Thanksgiving weekend, when many students are home.

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