CAPE CORAL, Fla. - There are so many scams out there, it's hard to keep tabs on every single one. That's why it's so important to recognize all of those red flags warning you of a scam. But if you're on the fence, one website can help.
Mark Amato emailed CALL FOR ACTION after his fiance Yvonne McCoy received a letter very similar to a scam he had seen on WINK. The letter said she was selected to participate in a consumer research program. It gave her a check as payment for her services.
"If you see that check, it's so real looking. It's unreal," said Mark.
In fact Yvonne told us the check looked so real, "I was going to cash it and he (Mark) told me no. There are a lot of people that would have done what I wanted to do to cash it. It's terrible they do this to people."
Mark agreed with his fiance, "It was in her name so I was happy for her. She could use the money. Then we started reading it and got to the part where we have got to send them 1500 bucks. We knew something was wrong."
Mark knew the letter was a scam and reported it to police.
But what do you do if you are unsure?
One website aims to help. The "scam-o-matic" allows you to copy the letter onto the website. It then tells you if it matches any known scams. Click here for the website.
Mark and Yvonne didn't need the website to figure out their letter is a scam. They recommend using a little common sense.
"If you get a check that you're not expecting, don't cash it," said Yvonne.
Some of the common red flags include
*letters with typos, poor grammar, or words misspelled
*asking you to send back money
*asking you to wire money
*demanding you act now
*telling you to keep it a secret.
If you get a letter that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But if you're in doubt, you can always contact the Lee County Sheriff's Office fraud line at 239-477-1242.