We’ve seen a surprising number of comments lately regarding Mr. Al Snyder, the Blossom Homes Corporation, Award Checks, and fake checks. We suspect that someone has recently mass-mailed hundreds of these fake checks lately. Unfortunately, there is only one outcome: victims losing thousands of dollars. We’ve looked at fake checks before, so this post will be a quick refresher course. If you want to learn more about how this scam operates, read this post on fake check scams and scambaiting.

Don’t Cash Checks from Awardchecks.com or .net!

Here are some of the recent comments posted around I’ve Tried That.

I received a Washington Mutual Bank check for $4,980.00 on MaY 30, 2008. It was from “Al Snyder”, a “grant broker” working for “Award Checks.” The check looks legitimate, does not have to be repaid, and required only a paltry 10% commission to Mr. Snyder to deposit or cash. Thanks to “I’ve Tried That” and Joyce, Johnny, Terry and BP, I kept the $498.00 that would have gone to “Al Snyder” in my pocket where it belongs. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

[Note by Joe: This commenter wouldn’t have just lost $498. His bank would have held him liable for the face value of the false check he cashed—$4,980! See Steve’s complete explanation below.]

I also got a check from this Al Snyder for $4980. Sounded too good to be true to me as well, and it didn’t take very long to figure out that is total BS. Mine was from Blossom Homes Corporation as well. Ill be reporting this to the authorities.

May 31,2008 also received check for $4970.00 from AWARDSCHECKS.COM aka Al Snyder. Yeah damn scammers always F’N UP real honest peoples day. But have too say very tempted to cash and havem’ make me repay a scammers fake check. Someone needs to find these people and makem’ pay every cent they scammed pluse more. A–HOLES.

I recieved a check from a Mr. Al Snyder, grant broker with Blossom Homes Corporation on May 31, 2008 for 4980.00. I googled Blossom Homes Corporation and thanks in part to I’ve Tried That,and a friend who works in a bank I found out about this dishonest scam. I will report this to the proper authorities,as all these people need to pay for thier lack of integrityand their dishoesty.

Order of Operations
All fake check scams operate in the same manner. The victim, you, probably received a large check in the mail. You have no idea where this check came from but it’s free money, right? What could be better? Well, accompanying that check is a list of instructions. You have probably been directed to go to the bank and deposit the check. Then you are to take about 90% of the money you deposited and send a moneygram via Western Union to whoever sent you the check. Lucky for you, the letter says you get to keep 10% of the check for yourself.

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Now, here’s where it gets tricky. The check, of course, is fraudulent. The check will bounce (maybe as much as a year later) and your account will most likely be thousands of dollars in the red. Unfortunately for you, the bank account the check was sent from doesn’t exist and now you’re solely responsible for the debt. Not the bank, not the scammer, but YOU. What was once a promising opportunity has now turned into a hellish nightmare. You are responsible for paying back the bank and the scammer now has thousands of your hard-earned dollars.

What Can You Do?
First things first, DO NOT cash that check. Listen to me. The check is fraudulent. Don’t let yourself become another victim. The thousands of dollars is tempting, but they do not exist. You will lose that money, be deeply in debt, and could even do jail time. The check may have successfully deposited into your bank account, but that’s only because banks have to make any deposited funds readily available to you. When the bank goes to withdrawal the money from the bank account listed on the check, it won’t be there and the check will bounce. Report the fraudulent check to the proper authorities immediately.

You can also spread the word about this article. Link to it wherever you think it will be helpful. Send it out in emails or post it on forums. We need to educate as many people as we can about this scam.

Update 9/13/08

Readers have been writing to tell us about other names involved in this scam. Here are the ones we know about so far, and we’ll add to this list as we hear about them:
Smith Enterprises
Tabatha Clark
El Cajon Consulting
Davis Software Concepts
Upland Product Development
Jim Walsh

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Join the Discussion

  • Jeremy Gibson
    Jeremy Gibson

    Al Is up to the same trick but some minor changes. The company name is the Grant Organization. Oddly enough the fax number is still the same 310-919-0154. It is still registered to the Female’s Business League. Their scammer sight for payment is http://www.findgrantpeople.net or .info. Somebody must be placing pressure on Al because he is asking for untracable money cards not prepaid Visa or Mastercard. The bank is Key Bank, Check written by Integrated Payment Sytems. New twist on scam they send a 945 dollar check of the 10,000 dollar “grant” you send him 4.09% or $409 in return in less than 5 days then he’ll send the remainder of the $10,000($9055). The http://www.findgrantpeolpe.net is registered to Registrant:
    Cassie Jennings
    Cassie Jennings
    6116 43rd St W
    Bradenton, FL, US
    Voice: +1.9417616250
    EMail: rcfi983@gawab.com
    The Web site it directs you to is http://www.giveorganization.biz is registered to Registrant Name: Jacqueline Haywood
    Registrant Organization: Jacqueline Haywood
    Registrant Address1: 3601 El Conlon Ave
    Registrant City: Las Vegas
    Registrant State/Province: NV
    Registrant Postal Code: 89102
    Registrant Country: United States
    Registrant Country Code: US
    Registrant Phone Number: +1.7026285086
    Registrant Email: lho33245@usa.com
    Hope this is helpful . These people wre probably scammed into setting the up. I’m checking with the bank with how to prceed . Thanks for all the info

  • Hoshen

    I ran awardchecks.net thru whois. Send the partyvan there plz. I’m surprised no ones done it before, but you can easily look up who owns domains, trace IP’s, and most e-mails yourself. I signed up for inboxdollars and paidsurveys and have been getting those scam spam e-mails for months.


  • phoenix, az
    phoenix, az

    i received one of these let me help you for nothing check. all i had to do was send back a commission. Add Jim Walsh to the list. I called the bank the check is supposedly drawn from and they confirmed the fraudulent check– said they have had others calling with the same info. it’s sad.

  • Elizabeth

    I didn’t receive a check from Al Synder but I do have a suggestion as too how he can possibly be caught. I’m sure that the authorities don’t consider these situations a priority unfortunately so it would be up to citizens or a “private detective”.

    A suggestion to catching him would be::

    I am very familiar with Western Union and Moneygrams I send them to my brother. And when you send a money transfer it goes to a zip code area.

    For example if it’s requested that you send the money transfer to 60652 the person receiving the money can pick up the money at any Western Union or Moneygram location within that zip code.

    Before sending the money ALL the locations within that zip code must be informed that anyone picking up the exact amount sent should notify authorities or in some cases hopefully they have surveillance.

    I think this would work because due to the amount he chooses to send, how many people send off set amounts such as 10% of 4,975 with would be 497.00 unless they are paying a bill.
    This suggestion to the authorities or even when done by an individual might help to “nab” this guy. Good Luck I sympathize with all of you.

    This is a time will there will be many preying on those struggling.

  • Jackie Lewis
    Jackie Lewis

    Just a little follow up! I see Al is still up to his old ways. I contacted my bank and they are willing to let me make payments back. The authorites have not had any leads. This is rediculous. I also checked into a lawsuit against him, but him or his companies are nowhere to be found. I guess we all have to just suck it up and pay the price for our mistakes in this situation. WAMU Bank can’t even find this person.

  • Kelli Smith
    Kelli Smith

    I also was scammed by Mr.Snyder and the check was from Upland Product Development. I just got access to the internet so unfortunatly I got whamed before it was to late! I am a single mother of three children and work very ,very hard for our money and I am in so much trouble & debt because of this I don’t know what to do now!! I am the only one in my area that I know of that has received this from that SOB!!!!!!!! I am about to lose my house because this put me so far under!!! I think that SOB Snyder should really have to pay those of us back that has cashed the check or that has any money out at all!!! This really isn’t funny when you mess up peoples lives, and their chldren’s college money!!

  • Traci

    I am so happy I found this web site. I am also a single mother and the money would have come in handy. I wish someone would find Mr Al Snyder and rip both of his arms off and beat him with them.

  • Esther Lalim
    Esther Lalim

    I, too, received a check from the infamous “Al Snyder”. It was dated 10/03/08 and valid for 30 days. It had all the same requirements as all the others have had. It came from Upland Product Development in Upland, CA. I also received one from ‘Al Snyder” last spring. The first one I destroyed, but this is going to the authorities. Too many people have been hurt by this person’s greed. I sure hope they catch this guy–SOON!!

  • Lisa Richard
    Lisa Richard

    I recieved a check in the mail from this mr snyder and it had the upland corp name on it. I too looked at the addreess they gave me and saw mr snyders picture. I’m very sceptical and did not want to lose money so i looked up the awardchecks .com and got this site. I was glad to find out that this was a scam before i did anything with the check. I really hope that they get this guy. I too looked up the address from the contactgrantbrobers.info site and found no listing for this uls finance company that was listed on the site. I will be contacting my authorities about this as well. thanks again you saved me alot of heartache.

  • Jeanette Rhoades
    Jeanette Rhoades

    Mr.Snyder is now sending checks out from UplandProduct Developemant in Oakland,Ca.
    My check was in to amount of $4975.00. I opened a new acccount witih it. I did not use my own bank account. I will be concelling that account today.

  • lUCY

    I received a check today too from Al Synder from Upland Product Development in Upland,CA. I knew if was a scam since my mom’s friend received a check like this one about two weeks ago and I researched it. I want to find out what we need to do with this scheck and who to get it to so they can try to find this guy. Also if he was the one signing the check it is not kim someone else is signing the checks.

  • tammy smith
    tammy smith

    On 10-14-2008 I got a check in the amount of $4975.00. A letter atached said that it was a grant and the amount was only half of my grant. Al Snyder a grant broker wanted me to cash the check and send him $995 his 10% commission.After I cashed the check I needed to go to http://www.ContactGrantBrokers.info or http://www.ContactGrantBrokers.NET and follow instructions to send him his 10%. After I send his 10% I would recieve the other half of my money.The check is from a company called UPLAND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT the bank is Washington Mutual Bank. I am thankful I found that it was a scam before I was out $995.

  • Beverly

    Thanks to everyone who has been posting this information. My husband just received a check from Al Synder on October 13, 2008 with all the same information. Business name is Davis Software Concepts in Calabasas, California. Thank god I came to this website first before cashing it. Thanks to eveyone.

  • Jeff

    I also recieved a check from al today. WAMU check from Davis Software Concepts in Pasadena. the same 10% commission w/in 5 days crap.I;m here in northern Minnesota. Luckily I work at a bank and knew almost immediately it was fake. Took it to work tried to verify it obviously it was a scam turned it into the bank manager who is forwarding to it to the fraud department and we’re forwarding copies to all the branches in our area so that they are more aware of the scam hitting our area.

  • Becky

    My mom today received a check for $4,870.00 on a Washington Mutual Bank check. My mom is retired and living on SS money. She said she was doing research on grants so she get money to connect to the City sewer lines. I took the check and told her I would research this. Didn’t sound right to me. The check is from Al Snyder from Davis Software Concepts @ 22287 Mulholland Hwy. Calabasas, CA 91302. Another thing my mom said was that she only researched, didn’t put her name or address on any websites. I beleive when you click on what ever site Mr Al is trying to use to scam people, is tracking your ULR. And getting your name and address that way.

  • LaTonya

    I received a grant check also from Al Snyder for 4,753 and i knew it was to real to be true. Yeah the bank did exist and the routing # was valid at the time. I had my bank run it through security and it came back fake. Whoever this is they need they ass kicked for this and they need to be under the jail. We also should be able to sue this person for putting our life on the line for his stupidness

  • Trace

    OMGosh !! what is it with this fraud crap out there. I too recieved a check or 4.950.00 From El Cajon Consulting in 1464 Graves, Ca 92021 a Washington Mutal Bank check. I took it to my bank just to get the tellers opinion. she said is looks, feels & seems real, but didn’t deposit it as it seems to good to be true. People beware… I actually entertained the idea ‘wonder if it is true’ because a company paid for my son’s physical therapy bike, it was like a grand. The company paid for this wanted to see his picture & know where their money was being used. People beware.. my adopted phrase is ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it is most likely not true.
    If there is a way we can bond together to get this crooked company, please let me know.

  • Maria

    Thanks to everyone who has been posting this information. I just received a check from Al Synder on September 11, 2008 with all the same information. Business name is El Cajon Consulting in El Cajon, California. Thank god I came to this website first before cashing it. Thanks to eveyone.

  • Joe

    Thanks for posting that information, Gina. I edited the account numbers because sometimes they belong to real people who are the other victims of this scam. It’s not likely that the account is still open, but just to be safe…

  • Gina

    WOW! Al Synder is a busy man.
    I received my check today. It too was dated for 8/18/2008, stating it was to void 30 days from this date.

    Smith Enterprises
    10336 Loch Lomond Rd
    Middletown, CA 95461
    Check Amount; $4765.00
    Check# 067812
    “067xxx” :322xxx7: 09xxx097″

    Washington Mutual Bank
    wamu.com – California

    This is all the information on the check and from reading the others who posted, the information is all the same. It to promises to send the other check in the exact same amount once his/her 10% commission is paid. Thank God I found this website, cause I can’t afford any more finanical problems. I hope this “Al Synder” gets caught!

  • Christina

    Hey I also received one of Mr Snyders checks had a feeling it was to good to be true, but since WAMU is a vaild bank in the states and the check was not coming from Cananda or out of the United States it should be ok….I was wrong. This guy neds to be caught.

  • Marleea

    I too recieved a check from Mr.Snyder from El Cajon consulting for $4,950.00 one of two after the 10% comission of $990.00 was paid in five days then the second check for the same amount would be air mailed from Europe where he supposedly is for a month. This is crazy! I will be happy to scan this and pot it when I get home. Thanks you guys! You saved me from making a huge mistake. I am a single mother getting ready to purchase a new home.

  • Kandace

    So i too recieved a check but it was for $4,765.00 which was supposed to be one payment of two, and i was supposed to give mr.Al Snyder 10% comm. or w/e. Well i called to verify the check with WAMU bank and they said that they hadnt had any calls about fraud checks from them or anything, oh and its from Smith Enterprises (yea right!) so after talking to a lady she said take it to one of the WAMU branches to verify if it is fake or not, well there is non close to me and i was telling her about it and she said “i’m going to say that it is a fraud.” so just beware! i didnt cash it or attempt too. Not worth all the trouble, i must convienent on his timing, my husband and i have been applying for grants for college now for over a month. Just thought i would update you with the newer checks being sent out. He also provided a website Awardchecks.com WHAT A FAKE! HE NEEDS TO BE ARRESTED! How do i report this? How can i help get him caught?! if you have any ideas email me kandeenalan@yahoo.com :)

  • Leslee

    I received a check for $4950.00 today, From Al Snyder. The name of the company is EL Cajon Consulting. I didn’t know what to think of it and decided to look it up on the net and found this site. Thank God I didn’t cash it. I tried calling the better business bureau, but they have not gotten back with me. Who do I report this to???

  • Gina

    I just received a check from Smith Enterprises from the infamous Al Snyder as well. I knew it was a scam from day one because I work for a granting company and know for a fact this is fraud. I am going to contact the authorities today to report it and give them the check, envelope and such.
    There are so many scams out there these days its not even funny. Most these people are from another country. They will do anything to get money except the right way, work for it.
    Yes I could have used the money but know that you just dont get grants unless paperwork is involved. Companies just dont give away money.
    Yes this is a fraud and the criminals need to be brought to justice.

  • Joe

    Great point, Karen. I didn’t have that trouble with Firefox, but when I visited it with Internet Explorer, I got all kinds of funky garbage. We’ll check it out. Thanks.

  • karen


  • Joe

    Misty, you rock. I hope you can latch onto his throat and not let go. These things are notoriously hard to prosecute, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying.

  • Joe

    Has anyone tried to access Al’s web site recently?

  • Joe

    Nicole, we’ve been looking for an example. If you’re willing to mail it to me, send me a note and I’ll give you my snail mail address. Email me at joe[at]ivetriedthat[dot]com.

  • Nicole

    I also received a check today from Smith Enterprises, WAMU bank for $4765.00. Where do I report this? I still have the letter, “check”, envelope, etc. This creep needs to be caught!

  • patrick

    i to recevied a check for the amount of 4,765 dollars and was to told to do the same thing by sending money to somebody i have never met or talked to, this is a real scam down to every detail, what you are supposed to do is limit the number of finger prints on the check and mailing envolpe and put them in a zip lock bag and get to your local FBI office to the fraud department even though it will probably never get the light of day cause there are millions of scams out there like this. so this is what we should do every one who has gat one of these things goto the web site and go through with the payment details and just over load there servers with a mass amount of stuff.

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