Skip to main content

6.8.2022 / Fraud Education

Nine Tips To Avoid Scams Involving Depositing Fraudulent Checks


Many of us assume that cashier’s checks or official bank checks are guaranteed funds. Unfortunately, scammers play into this false sense of security by using sophisticated graphics programs and printers to create fraudulent checks. These fake checks often look so real that bank employees mistake them as being legitimate.

It’s important to remember that a check is not worth the paper it’s printed on until the bank it was issued from releases the money. While banks are federally required to make deposits available quickly, it can take a number of weeks before your financial institution discovers that the check you deposited was fraudulent. Once a victim wires funds to someone else, he or she may be liable to the bank for the amount wired.


1. Don’t participate in foreign lotteries – they are illegal! Besides, if you didn’t enter a contest, how can you win? Do not fall for requests to pay to receive your prize.

2. Remember that cashier’s checks are not the same as cash. Even if the money from a cashier’s check appears to be available in your account, that doesn’t mean that the check is cleared. Your bank may still bounce it if they discover that it is fraudulent.

3. Do not wire money to strangers. If you do a wire transfer to someone, it is impossible to stop payment or cancel it.

4. Be wary of overseas buyers. If you wire money to someone outside the country, there is not much American law enforcement officials can do to help you recover the money.

5. Watch out for people who want to pay more than the asking price. Remember the old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

6. Third parties or agents should not be asking you for money. Their client is the one who should be making the payment.

7. Be realistic about what you’re selling. A person in Nigeria who wants to buy your snowblower should make you ask some questions.

8. Verify the legitimacy of the check by directly contacting the institution issuing the payment. Don’t use the information printed on the check, instead do a Google search and use the contact information you find independently.

9. Slow down. Scammers often pressure their victims to act quickly which forces them to overlook warning signs.

By paying attention to checks you receive and carefully considering the situation around the payment, you can avoid being a victim of check scammers.

Featured Posts

Is AI coming for you?

Read More

Check Security Features That Help Protect You From Fraud

Read More

Don’t Fall Victim to Tax Fraud

Read More