a signed check on a table.

Fake Checks

Check Fraud 101

While receiving a surprise check in the mail can be exciting, it’s important to stop and think before even considering depositing it. One of the most frequently used methods of fraud is fake checks. Here are 4 things to keep in mind before rushing to deposit an unsolicited check.

1. A fake check can look very real. With advanced technology readily available, it is simple for a scammer to create a counterfeit check that looks like the real deal. Some may appear to be money orders, cashier’s checks, or look like they came from legitimate business accounts.

2. If an offer or prize is truly free, then you shouldn’t have to pay for it. A real prize or offer will not require you to send money. Someone asking you to send “fees” back is a telltale sign of fraud.

3. The check may say “cleared”, but that doesn’t always mean it is a good check. It can sometimes take weeks for a fake check to be discovered. If you are questioning whether a check is good or not, make sure to talk to your banker and include details like where it came from, why it was sent to you, or whether you are being asked to send some of it back.

4. Report suspected fraud to your financial institution immediately. Our staff is experienced at spotting fraudulent checks. We can help you identify whether the check is real and assist you with the next steps.

For more information like this, visit our insider tips page to keep up to date on the latest financial tips and scams.