Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim
If you can answer “YES” to any of the following questions, you could be involved in a fraud or about to be scammed.
• Is the check from an item you sold on the internet, such as a car, boat, jewelry, etc.?
• Is the amount of the check more than the item's selling price?
• Did you receive the check via an overnight delivery service?
• Is the check connected to communicating with someone by email?
• Is the check drawn on a business or individual account that is different from the person buying your item or product?
• Have you been informed that you were the winner of a lottery, such as Canadian, Australian, El Gordo, or El Mundo, that you did not enter?
• Have you been instructed to either "wire", "send" or "ship" money, as soon as possible, to a large U.S. city or to another country, such as Canada, England, or Nigeria?
• Have you been asked to pay money to receive a deposit from another country such as Canada, England, or Nigeria?
• Are you receiving pay or a commission of facilitating money transfers through your account?
• Did you respond to an email requesting you to confirm, update, or provide your account information?
Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks
Recently, the banking community has experienced a surge in the occurrence of counterfeit cashier’s checks. Just because it is a cashier’s check, do not assume it is safe. Cashier’s checks are counterfeited almost as often as currency and personal checks. They are commonly used in scams to gain the victim’s trust.
What You Can Do
The best thing a consumer can do to protect themselves is to remember the old adage:
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
• Call or visit the bank on which the check is drawn to verify the legitimacy of the item.
• Know the people with whom you do business. Be cautious about accepting checks from people you don’t know. Any type of check can be altered or counterfeited.
• If you are selling an item, never accept a cashier’s check for more than your selling price. Why would a legitimate buyer ask you to pay the excess to someone else?
• If someone sends you a check and asks you to wire 90% to a third party and keep 10% for yourself, evaluate the situation. Why would they trust you, a stranger to them, to complete this transaction?
• If someone is paying you with a cashier’s check, ask that the check be drawn on a bank in your area. This item will be easier to verify and cash. Again, while cashier’s checks are less risky than other types of checks, they too can be altered and counterfeited