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"Some are complete phonies -- the bank name is phony, the city is misspelled.

But some are identical copies, and it's really difficult to tell they're fake," according to Gene Seitz of the FDIC's special activity section.

What makes this plot work is that most people place great confidence in cashier’s checks.

One of the current schemes involves a scammer contacting someone who has an item for sale on the Internet.Seitz says very few of the counterfeit cashier's checks are being cashed at banks; they're being used to pay individuals and merchants.Seitz advises everyone who receives a cashier's check as payment to call the issuing bank and make sure it authorized that check.Adding further to the deviousness of the scheme is the fact that the criminal does not ask for an advance fee.More and more people are savvy enough to recognize the request for an advance fee as the tell-tale sign of the so-called Nigerian fraud.

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