It can happen to anyone!

My sister in law is a therapist who has her own practice. She is still in the business-building stage, so she placed an ad in Psychology Today stating the type of therapy her clinic handles.

She was very happy to receive an email from a woman in the UK who stated that she was going to be in the area in a couple of months, and she was looking for a therapist. The woman referenced the ad, and said that it sounded like my sister-in-law was just the type of therapist she needed.

Emails went back and forth between my sister-in-law and the woman for the next two months, until they finally agreed on pricing and scheduling. The woman then told my sister-in-law that she would have her assistant send a cashier's check to pay for the therapy sessions.

The woman began to email my sister-in-law daily, asking if the cashier's check had arrived yet. When it finally arrived, my sister-in-law discovered that it was for $1400 MORE than the agreed amount. She emailed the woman, and the woman apologized, and said that it was a mistake made by the assistant. She assured my sister-in-law that there was an easy remedy. My sister-in-law should just cash the check and send the excess amount to her. And would my sister-in-law mind hurrying, because the woman was stuck in Malaysia, since the assistant was supposed to send a portion of the money to her so she could buy a plane ticked to the States.

And just to make it fair, she suggested my sister-in-law keep an extra $200 for her trouble.

At this point my sister-in-law became suspicious and contacted Psychology Today. As she began to explain her concern, she only got to the point where she said she was contacted by a woman claiming to be from the UK when the customer services representative blurted out, "don't do it, it's a scam!"

My sister-in-law thankfully escaped without any loss of money. She is embarrased at how close she came to being scammed, and is determined to be more careful in the future.