How the scam works:
In a nutshell, the scam occurs this way: the scammer asks for your business services, whatever they might be, and sends you a check that’s much bigger than the amount you asked.
Then, the crook acknowledges his mistake but gives you the “green light” to deposit the whole amount in your account, if you send them the difference. You do this and the original check bounces a few days later, leaving you out the amount you sent him.
For exact examples with different twists, check the Humanitarian Jobs scam, Mystery Shopper scam, and Tutor for Hire scam (all under the Employment Category), as well as the Roommate Moving to town scam (House/ Properties Category) and the Vacation Rental by Renter scam (Travel Category).
The latest scam on this topic is a check which is claiming to come from a company called Consolidated Bottle Corporation. The crooks are pretending to offer jobs and paid gigs if the recipient of the check helps with some market research or with taking survey on behalf of the company.
How to avoid:
Never deposit a check with an amount bigger than you expected. Ask the scammer to send you a new check. He won’t and you will lose the money for the services, but that’s better than losing large amounts of money from your bank account.