Tuesday, June 18 2013, 10:14 AM MDT
An Unexpected Check In The Mail That's NOT A Scam
By Matt Gephardt
Produced by Michelle Poe
Edited by Aaron Colborn
Photography by Randy Likness
(KUTV) There was a surprise waiting for Li Ann Lee when she checked her mailbox last week. Inside was a check from the Federal Trade Commission for $96.39. Li Ann was suspicious.
"I thought that it was a scam,” she said. “People don't just send you money out of the clear blue sky."
A letter attached to the check says the FTC is sending out refunds from a company about which Li Ann says she has never heard: a Nevada company called Grant Connect, LLC.
"[The letter] gives a whole list of things which I did not recognize," she said.
Li Ann says she gets a lot of bogus checks from scammers and she was certain this too was a check from a scammer … but not so fast, Li Ann.
True enough, there are countless check scams out there that all begin with a thief sending a potential victim a check. Some crooks even lie and say they are the FTC to try and fool people. But the check Li Ann received is the exception to the rule.
Get Gephardt investigated and found that in 2011 the FTC won a judgment against Grant Connect, LLC for nearly $30 million. The FTC says, consumers were “defrauded” by the company. The FTC says the company "falsely claimed they could help consumers get free government grant money," according to a recent FTC announcement on the commission’s website. Earlier this month, the FTC began sending out refund checks to the company's victims.
So there you go, Li Ann. You may not remember Grant Connect, LLC, but the FTC says you are owed $100. The check is real.
The FTC says the easiest way to know if a check is real or a scam is by whether or not the people that sent the check ask you to send money. The FTC never requires you to pay upfront fees to cash a check. If someone contacts you about a refund and insists on money, it's probably a scam, the commission says.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)