Fake Checks


Fake Check Scams:

  Victim is convinced by a fundraiser to accept a realistic-looking check or money order and deposit or cash it
  Scammer instructs the victim to wire a portion of the funds somewhere (most often outside the U.S., but not always)
  The scammer will pick up the wired funds in the form of cash almost immediately
  The funds can't be recalled once picked up (simply the way wire transfers work)
  This type of scam takes advantage of consumer's ability to access funds before the counterfeit is discovered

 - even though your bank shows the funds as available in 24-48 hours, the actual transfer may take as long as 10 days to process through the banking system

 - If the funds were taken from an account of a person whose identity was stolen, the counterfeit may not be recognized until the owner of the account catches the transaction on their monthly statement

  It is very easy for scammers to use this method due to the availability of check stock (or even ordering checks from retail vendors and having incorrect account numbers printed on them)
  The consumer is liable for the loss of funds, but institutions may lose money if the consumer us unable to repay the loss
  Losses generally range from $3,000 - $4,000
  Besides the initial loss of cash, the consumer may have to deal with the following:
    Overdraft fees
    Bounced check fees
    Bank account may be frozen or closed
    Negative reports to credit agencies
    Legal fees if the unable to cover the loss and the bank peruses legal action
    Some victims may be charged with check fraud
    Auto-withdrawal accounts (mortgage, car loan, utilities) may charge late fees for insufficient funds



How Can You Protect Yourself?

Click here for information on how to protect yourself from these scams
Click here for more resources

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