U.S. postal inspectors are looking into a scam that involves bogus checks purportedly sent from Minnesota Public Radio.
Dozens of the counterfeit checks have popped up in at least 19 states. The scam artists send letters trying to get unwitting recipients to cash the enclosed fake checks, and then send in the money as purported tax payments on bogus sweepstakes winnings.
Jeffrey Long with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in St. Paul says this type of scam is not new -- it first surfaced in the early 1980s.
"It's just that these fraud artists are evolving, if you will, in finding new and various ways of committing fraud against the American consumer," said Long.
Long says over the last six months, the Inspection Service has recovered more than 5,000 counterfeit financial documents with a face value of more than $19 million.
Long says that people who receive a check that may be questionable should verify its authenticity with the company that issued it. He says if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true.