ICFE Consumer alert: Your Check Is In The Mail But, DON'T CASH IT!

San Diego, CA. Your check is in the mail, but you better not cash it or you might discover you have inadvertently signed up for a new magazine subscription, long distance telephone service or Internet service provider.

It is exciting to get money in the mail. More and more companies, including some of the giants of the retail industry, are using so-called checks in the mail to lure unsuspecting consumers into cashing them and unwittingly signing up for some service which brings about more expense.

The checks are in fact real and they will not bounce, at the bank, however, they come with many conditions usually contained in the fine print on the front and or back of the check, that you may regret agreeing to when you endorsed the check for cashing or a deposit.

AT&T has been sending out $35 checks to people who switch their telephone service from AT&T to another service provider. The $35 is an inducement to get those customers to come back to AT&T. To their credit, AT&T does put a disclaimer on the front of the check, unlike many others who use this direct mail pitch, which clearly states that signing and cashing the check will switch your long distance, local toll and local services back to AT&T. There are more important details on the back of the check, but cash hungry consumers may not take the time to discover the new things they may be signing up for be cashing the check.

The word to consumers, young and old is: caution! Once one of these so called checks is cashed, it will be very difficult to reverse the new services you may have unintentionally ordered.

The consumer's best defense against this type of marketing tactic is to read the fine print and don't expect free money for nothing, because if it sounds too good to be true, that AT&T or some other company is sending you $35 because they like you, then it probably is not true.

For more information on how to avoid consumer scams visit the ICFE at www.icfe.info
To receive the same information by mail, please send a self-addressed, 60 cent, stamped envelope to the ICFE, Avoiding Scams, PO Box 34070, San Diego, CA 92163-4070.