THE SCAM: Free money from Datum
HOW IT WORKS: The name Datum Research Group might be unfamiliar, but it sounds official and important. At least, that's what the con artists behind the name are hoping in a new variation on the "money for nothing" scam. Consumers have reported receiving checks from the Datum Research Group for $4,200, seemingly without any prior contact. The fraudsters hope people will accept the checks and cash them. Doing so gives the scammers the victims' checking account numbers, making them ripe for draining.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: Your money
HOW TO BEAT IT: While Datum Research Group is a specific -- if bogus -- name, scammers using the scheme do so under dozens of names with checks from dozens of banks. If you receive such a check, ask why you're getting money for nothing. Don't cash or deposit the check; instead, get rid of it.
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Contact Bee staff writer
Ben van der Meer at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2331.
For past Scam Alerts, go to www.modbee.com/ business/scam.