SCIOTO COUNTY, OH (WOWK)—The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office warned citizens about a recent check scam on Friday.

The sheriff’s office says they received a complaint from a citizen saying that they received what appeared to be a legitimate check in the mail. That person then received text messages telling them to deposit the check and then text back once the deposit had been made.

According to the sheriff’s office, this person did not deposit the check and did some research instead. It didn’t take much digging to realize that this was a scam.

Residents are reminded to never deposit a check and send money back to someone and never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office also encourages people to stop and talk to someone they trust before doing anything related to the transfer of money.

Below are Four Signs That It’s a Scam from the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know.

Scammers often pretend to be contacting you on behalf of the government. They might use a real name, like the Social Security Administration, the IRS, or Medicare, or make up a name that sounds official. Some pretend to be from a business you know, like a utility company or even a charity asking for donations.

They use technology to change the phone number that appears on your caller ID. So the name and number you see might not be real.

  • Scammers say there’s a PROBLEM or a PRIZE.

They might say you’re in trouble with the government. Or you owe money. Or someone in your family had an emergency. Or that there’s a virus on your computer.

Some scammers say there’s a problem with one of your accounts and that you need to verify some information. Others will lie and say you won money in a lottery or sweepstakes but have to pay a fee to get it.

  • Scammers PRESSURE you to act immediately.

Scammers want you to act before you have time to think. If you’re on the phone, they might tell you not to hang up so you cannot check out their story.

They might threaten to arrest you, sue you, or take away your driver’s license. They might even say your computer is about to be corrupted.

  • Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way.

They often insist that you pay by sending money through a money transfer company or by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the number on the back.

Some will send you a check (that will later turn out to be fake), tell you to deposit it, and then send them money.

Again, Sheriff Thoroughman would like to remind everyone to never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. And, never deposit a check and send money back to someone. Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone — a friend, a family member, a neighbor — what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.