Recently, counterfeit checks have been passed at several different financial institutions. These checks are often sent by people the payee doesn’t know. They’re usually payment for items sold online. The counterfeit check is usually made out for a larger amount than what was requested. The sender then asks the payee to deposit the check and send back the difference in cash.
Counterfeit checks may look like an ordinary personal check, or even like a cashier’s check. If you deposit a counterfeit check, you will have to pay back your financial institution. You may also have to pay a fee for depositing an invalid check.
Here are some ways you can protect yourself from being scammed by a counterfeit check:
- Never accept a check if you’re selling online. Insist on cash (if the person is local) or an online payment service.
- To verify a check, call the financial institution it was drawn on. Find the bank’s number online or through directory assistance.
- If you receive a counterfeit check related to an online scam, you can report it to the FBI here. If the checks were sent via U.S. mail, you can report the mail fraud at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s website here.
- Our Stickley on Security video, “Warning! Fake Cashiers Checks” talks more about this type of scam. You can find the video here.
If you receive a suspicious check that looks like a Christian Community Credit Union cashier’s check, please contact our Fraud Specialist via email or by calling 800.347.2228, ext. 6223.
This article should not be considered legal, tax, or financial advice. You may wish to consult a tax or financial advisor about your individual financial situation.