Can I cash and keep the check that they wrote for me if they are trying to involve me in something illegal? 15 Answers as of March 04, 2014

I replied to a job posting on craigslist for a housekeeping position. The guy only communicated with me through e-mail, I never met him. I haven't done him any service and he's "paying" me already. He wants me to cash a 1900$ check (with my name in it) and take $200 of it then send the rest to someone else. I'm pretty sure they are involving me in something illegal but can I cash and keep the check since they wrote it for me? Can I scam them back?

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Law Office J. Jeffrey Morris | J. Jeffrey Morris
That check is likely a bad check, it will bounce, you get nothing. Don't be a fool, tear up the check, walk away. Report them to the police.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/4/2014
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Do not cash the check, it is bad. The bank will sue you for all the money. Report this to the police and take the check and a copy of the ad. It is a crime.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/4/2014
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
This is a scam and the check is either counterfeit or will be returned as un-cash able due to non-sufficient funds. Your bank will charge you for the returned check and will want any money used from this check to be reimbursed to the bank.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/28/2014
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
When you cash the check, it is probably coming from a legit source that will prosecute you.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 2/28/2014
Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
It is a scam and you alone can be charged with theft of funds. You would be the one responsible to cover the check.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/28/2014
    Lawyer for Independent Media
    Lawyer for Independent Media | Sue Basko
    If you have only communicated by email, how did you get a check? What you are saying is not adding up. Most likely, the check is no good and will bounce long after you pay the third party. This is a ponzi type scam. If you cash the check, you will end out owing your bank for the money plus fees. Make a copy of the Craigslist ad and the emails and bring those with the check to the police station. File a report that someone is trying to work a financial scam on you through Craigslist.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Do not cash the check. Contact the police department or the attorney generals office and give the check and all the details to them.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 2/28/2014
    Simpson Law Office, PLLC | Alexander J. Simpson, III
    This is a well known scam. The check he gave you is probably no good. You cash it, send him the "extra" money, he disappears, the check bounces, and the bank comes after you for all the money. And no, you can't scam him back. That would involve you committing a crime, for which you could be charged, tried, and convicted. On top of that, odds are very good that this guy is a much better scam artist than you are. This is what he does for a living. Continuing to deal with him is only likely to get yourself caught up in a bad situation.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 2/28/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You are playing with fire, the check will eventually bounce and the bank will come after you because you got the money for it. Report this to the authorities, it is a scam that hurts people like you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2014
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    It is a scam, you cash the check and get caught with a forgery.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 2/28/2014
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    You will be committing theft if you do that.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/28/2014
    MatthewR. Schutz, Esq | Matthew R. Schutz
    DO NOT CASH THE CHECK. THEY ARE TRYING TO RIP YOU OFF. This is a common scam. The check is bad and when you cash it and transfer $1700.00, the bank will come after you for the money.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 2/28/2014
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM | I.Donald Weissman
    You can do anything you want but keep in mind that there are possible if not probable repercussions. The scam is giving you a check. You "cash" it and this person tells you immediately to give the money over to them. The check is bogus, i.e., no good. Your account has to cover it. You get stuck with the problem and this person you never met has your money. Be careful. Best to play it straight. If you deposit the check be sure to wait until the check clears or is returned before you withdraw any money from the account.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2014
    LYL Law Group
    LYL Law Group | Lior Leser
    They are scamming you. The check will seem to go through but will eventually bounce. You will be held liable for the full amount by the bank.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/28/2014
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