Recently, we’ve received a lot of calls and emails about receiving one of our cashier’s checks for payment of a new online job, for a purchase of an item being sold online, or __________________ (fill in the blank with other reason). These calls and emails are coming from all over the country. The problem is the checks are counterfeits and depositing one of these will result in the person who deposited it being responsible for the funds.
These scams are so common now that the FTC has an entire website dedicated to the topic. If not our checks, it could be any of the over 10,000 other financial institutions in the US. The check is not really the point as it is just the tool used by the scammers to defraud unsuspecting individuals and with technology being what it is these days, the fraudulent checks are difficult to detect on look and feel alone.
Most of these scams could be avoided by listening to the little voice that tells us that something isn’t quite right. The old saying “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” applies in these situations. When was the last time you paid for an item you bought and wrote the check out for hundreds if not thousands more and asked that the seller then send you the difference via wire transfer or via an app?
We encourage our members and anyone receiving a questionable payment with one of our checks to contact us if they want to verify that a payment is legitimate. We want to help protect our members and the community at large from these scammers.
Post author: Jamieson Mackay, CCUFC
The opinions expressed on this page are those of the credit union’s Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors, staff members and other authors and may not reflect the views of the credit union. Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of each article.