EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Casey Fontaine was thrilled when someone reached out to her asking for help creating a company logo.

But the recent New England Institute of Technology graduate tells 12 News that excitement quickly turned to disappointment when she realized it was nothing but a lie.

“She asked for a logo and her budget was $500. I was like ‘OK, I’ll take on the job,'” Fontaine said. “I had no idea it was a scam. I thought it was a legitimate client.”

Fontaine said the woman mailed her a check and she cashed it immediately.

But her supposed client later told her that she accidentally made the check out for an amount that was higher than it should have been.

The woman then asked Fontaine to refund the difference, which she did.

“[The check] went through, but a few days later the bank said it was an altered check, resulting in my bank account being really in the negative,” Fontaine recalled.

Fontaine isn’t alone. Fake check scams are common across the country, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Data recently released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reveals that Rhode Island ranks 15th in the nation for fake check scams this year.

So far this year, there have been more that 17,000 reports of fraudulent check scams or foreign money offers. The FTC estimates that people have been scammed out of $44.8 million dollars.

BBB’s Paula Fleming tells 12 News many people have received fake checks without even knowing it. She recommends people keep an eye out for grammatical errors and be weary of unsolicited emails.