“Free” Checks Equal Hidden Fees

12-17-04 – Mystery checks are landing in mailboxes in Grayson County. They are made out to a resident’s name and look like free cash, but authorities say cashing the check could lead to hundreds of dollars in fees.

Once you cash the check, you sign yourself up for a service. The checks, from credit card companies, banks and insurance companies all carry yearly or monthly fees.

Senior citizen’s advocates say some people don’t read the fine print and end up accumulating hundreds of dollars in fees.

There is also a concern about identity theft. The checks are written in one person’s name, but also carry the phase “or bearer.” That means anyone can cash the check, take the money and leave you with the fees.

Advocates say; to avoid fraud, don’t cash the checks.