Education » Articles » Beware Of Fraudulent Cashiers Checks
Beware of Fraudulent Cashier's Checks
Criminals are using sophisticated techniques to counterfeit cashier's checks and
money orders. Consumers trust these items because they appear official, assuming
the money is theirs once the check is deposited. Not true. When an item
is returned as counterfeit, the money was "never really in your account," and the
amount is then deducted from your account balance. Protect your accounts by being
aware of the warning signs.
- A buyer sends a cashier's check for more than the purchase amount.
- "You won!" phony lottery check is sent to you.
- A check is purchased by someone other than the one you're dealing with.
- A check has misspelled words or is printed on flimsy paper.
- You receive a request to "convert" a cashier's check into a personal check. (You
can keep the "extra amount" for your efforts.)
- Watch for anything that appears suspicious. Trust your instincts!
How to Protect Yourself
- If you don't know the person, confirm their name, address, and phone number using
a phone book or directory assistance.
- Insist on an official check from a local financial institution or one with a branch
in your area.
- Call the financial institution to verify that the check is valid. Use your phone
book-don't call the number on the check.
- Ask your financial institution to put an "extended hold" on a suspicious check.
Wait 2 weeks or more before using those funds, to make sure the check has cleared.
- Search the FDIC Special Alerts site to learn whether the bank your check is drawn
on has had its checks counterfeited previously.
- For Internet purchases, use a reputable online escrow service that will hold the
payment until the promised goods arrive.
If you suspect fraud, ask UW Credit Union for help.