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(INDIANAPOLIS) – There’s another Nigerian scam to beware of. This one could show up in your mailbox:

The Better Business Bureau says reports of a fake check scam have doubled in three years. A check shows up in your mail with an offer to work at home, and a letter asking you to send back part of the proceeds to cover training or software costs. Indianapolis BBB president Tim Maniscalo says the checks themselves look authentic — even the banks are often fooled until later. But the job and software don’t exist, while the money you’ve sent off in exchange is all too real.

Maniscalo says to be especially suspicious if you’re asked to send money in an unorthodox way, like wire transfer or gift cards. And he says the BBB hasn’t seen a single work-from-home solicitation that turned out to be legitimate.

Like many elaborate con games, Maniscalo says this one has its origins in Nigeria, making the scammers hard to prosecute. And once the money leaves the U.S., it’s all but impossible to get back.

(Photo: Valeriva/Thinkstock)