ALBANY, N.Y. (12/9/10)--The Credit Union Association of New York and the state's credit unions Tuesday joined other organizations in launching an anti-fraud program to educate consumers in the state about fake-check scams. Twenty credit unions and two banks have signed up to participate, said the association. Other organizations involved in the "Don't Become a Target" program are the New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB), the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), the New York Bankers Association and the Independent Bankers Association of New York State. Participating credit unions and banks will hand out a "Don't Become a Target" brochure created by CFA to every consumer who deposits checks or money orders of $1,000 or more or who withdraw $1,000 or more. In a fake check scam, the consumer receives a genuine looking check or money order often associated with an "advance" of sweepstakes or lottery winnings or with pay for working as a "mystery shopper." The consumer is asked to deposit the check and then wire funds somewhere else. Victims lose an average $3,000 to $4,000 when the fake check bounces. "Fake check scams are a serious problem for consumers," said William J. Mellin, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New York. "Credit unions want to do all they can to educate their members," he added. CFA is working with credit unions and banks and organizations in 12 states to launch the program in their states.