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Counterfeit Checks and Scams

With advanced computer technology and desktop publishing, scammers are producing more and more counterfeit checks that look like official cashier’s checks, money orders, or corporate checks. Thieves prey on trusting people, knowing that they believe official looking checks provide a safe way to make financial transactions. Some of their techniques include:

  • The counterfeit check is presented to pay for an item that you advertised for sale, especially an expensive item, like a car.
  • You receive a counterfeit check in the mail as lottery or prize winnings for a contest you never entered. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

If you receive a check and question its legitimacy, you should:

  • Bring the check to Interra for help in determining the authenticity of the check.
  • Call the paying bank identified on the check. However, don’t use the phone number printed on the check as it is likely a part of the scam. Rather, verify the telephone number using an online search or contact the credit union for assistance.
  • Request that any payments you receive come from a local institution or a local branch.

Wait for the check to clear before withdrawing cash or writing checks against the deposited funds. Also, if the check is payable for an item, you may want to wait to deliver the item until the check clears.