You’ve seen all the warnings about fake check scams.

But how can you tell if a check you get in the mail is legit or phony?

Over the last few months the federal government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been sending checks to 125,000 people around the country totaling $231 million.

That has caught some off guard, wondering if the checks are real.

“This is a little different in the case that these are actual valid checks that are coming out and we don’t want people to just throw them by the wayside because everyone’s trained to look for a scam nowadays,” Jason Kama, director of marketing at the Hawaii Better Business Bureau, said.

The checks are being sent as payment to victims as part of enforcement actions taken against two debt settlement companies, Morgan Drexen and Global Client Solutions.

Sometimes these people have been identified through their databases as customers so they didn’t necessarily apply for the check to come. But it is owed to them

So how do you know if a check you may have received is in fact real?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says before cashing the check, you can go to their website which lists companies that are sending checks.

You can also call the BBB and someone will help verify if the check is legitimate.

You can also research the name of the bank listed on the check to make sure it’s a real bank, then verify with that bank that the check is for real.

And look for security features like watermarks or color shifting inks

Finally, beware of anyone who claims they can send you compensation in exchange for money.

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, you can click this link, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., or send an email to