Fake Check Scams

By March 4, 2000 March 4th, 2016 Security

The Bank offers the following Security Procedures related to avoiding fake check scams:

 

  • If someone gives you a check or money order and asks you to send money somewhere in return, it’s a scam.These are some examples of common fake check scams: Legitimate sweepstakes operators or other companies will not send you a check then ask you to forward money to a third party. If you have really won, you will pay taxes directly to the government. Do not remit payments for taxes to any third parties, only government agencies. Legitimate mystery shopper or account manager jobs do not use money transfer services to send money.
  • A familiar company name doesn’t guarantee that it is legitimate. Cyber criminals often pretend to be from well-known companies to gain people’s trust. Find the company’s contact information independently, online or through directory assistance, and contact it yourself to verify the information.
  • A check or money order may be fake even if your bank lets you have the cash. You have the right to get the cash quickly, usually within 1-2 days, but your bank cannot tell if there is a problem with the check or money order until it has gone through the processing system to the person or company that supposedly issued it. Sometimes that can take several days. By the time the fraud is discovered, the crook has pocketed the cash and left you responsible for covering the charge.
  • When the check or money order is returned unpaid, you will have to pay the money back to your bank. You are responsible because you are in the best position to know if the person who gave it to you is trustworthy. If you don’t pay the money back, your account could be frozen or closed, and your credit may be affected. Some victims are even charged with fraud.
  • Sending money using a money transfer service is like sending cash – once the crook picks it up you can’t get it back from the service. It’s not like a check that you can stop after you’ve given it to someone or a credit card charge that you can dispute. But if the money has not been picked up yet, you may be able to stop the transaction. Contact the money transfer service immediately if you think you’ve been scammed.