One victim reported losing more than $2,300 after receiving a $2,980 check from what she believed was Connecticut-based Athletic Brewing Company. The victim told BBB that she responded to the text message offer as a joke, but then saw it as an easy way to make extra money during retirement.
“I thought it seemed pretty easy to do if it’s the real deal,” she told BBB Serving CT. “I made the mistake of not waiting to see if the check cleared.”
Even those consumers who did not end up cashing the check, gave out personal information to the scammers, including their name, address, and vehicle descriptions, potentially setting them up for a phishing expedition.
Many of the victims were conned into thinking that the actual companies used in the advertisements were active participants in the scam.
“I saw an advertisement via social media regarding the Athletic Brewing Company. I read their mission and vision statement. It sounded like something I would be interested in as we share the same values: helping the community etc...,” reported one consumer.
“I looked this place up and they are an actual company so I don't get it,” added another in her Scam Tracker report.
“Unfortunately, like many high growth and well reputed companies across the country, Athletic Brewing has been targeted by repeated attempts by scammers and impersonators to trade off our strong relationship with our community and take advantage of our customers. Athletic is doing the best we can to communicate and stay ahead of these attempts (ranging from fake car decal offers, fake employment offers, impersonating HR, fake websites, and even trying to take over our google business account),” said Bill Shufelt, Co-founder and CEO of Athletic Brewing. “With how persistent these scammers and impersonators are, we just wish they would put it towards legitimate business purposes rather than nefarious.”
Fake check fraud is a huge problem, with complaints to government agencies and consumer advocacy groups doubling in recent years. Millions of fake checks worth billions of dollars circulate every year.
How to avoid this scam