If you are looking to con someone out of cash with a fake check scam, you may want to first confirm that the target of your scheme is actually human.
Scottsdale, Ariz., lawyer Mark Goldman says scammers recently reached out to his dog, a bull terrier named Walter, with a request to cash a $198,000 check, and wire them back part of the money. The check, of course, was a fake.
"It was so transparent, even Walter figured it out immediately," Goldman told CBS affiliate KPHO in Phoenix.
Goldman, who has his own law practice, had set up an email address at the practice for Walter as a joke. That's how the fraudsters found the pooch. They thought he was one of the attorneys in the practice.
"He received an email from a gentleman that claimed to be in England," Goldman said.
The email asked for legal representation in a claim to collect money from a deadbeat in the United States. Just to see what would happen, Goldman responded, asking for a retainer. That's when he was sent the check, and a request to send part of the funds back to the client. It's a common scam, Goldman said.
"Lawyers are targeted in particular because lawyers have an obligation to deliver the proceeds of any settlement checks to the clients," Goldman said.
Had he cashed the check and sent the money, he would have been on the hook with the bank -- but Walter is no dummy, Goldman said. The check was never cashed.
"Walter handled it appropriately," Goldman said, "and according to the policy of our law firm and what any individual and business should do."
Good dog, Walter.