The Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC) is warning consumers and job seekers to not accept phony SIPC checks that SIPC says “are presented online or in person by con artists seeking to buy personal goods or engage individuals for work.”
SIPC, which maintains a special reserve fund mandated by Congress to protect the customers of insolvent brokerage firms, says the fake checks include an actual SIPC account number that is used only for deposits, not to issue checks. The warning issued Tuesday, August 24, by SIPC was an update to an earlier alert to the public issued May 20.
In over a dozen cases so far, SIPC says in its August 24 release, “one or more individuals have presented the phony SIPC checks to ‘pay’ for an item on Craigslist or in face-to-face transactions, or to ‘pay’ for services advertised on Craigslist. The most recent victims were supposed to be engaged as drivers or personal assistants. In some cases, the bad check passer or passers are trying to purchase items or services for less than the face value of the phony check and then asking for the balance in return, or for the balance to be forwarded to a third party.”