Protect yourself from fake check scams!
Published on March 25, 2021
Even in today’s digital world, some consumers and businesses may still prefer paper cashier’s checks or official bank checks for large or major payments.
Recipients generally prefer one of these checks over a personal check because the financial institution presumably has already collected the funds from the party purchasing the cashier’s checks or official bank checks. This means the payment is guaranteed, unless the check is counterfeit, so there are risks to consumers and businesses from these types of paper instruments, as well.
How to Spot a Fake Check
Determining whether a cashier’s check or bank check is legitimate is difficult just by physical inspection. However, there are some things you can do to help identify a fake check:
- Make sure the check was issued by a legitimate bank. While some counterfeit checks will include a legitimate bank’s name, a fake name is a sure giveaway. To locate a FDIC-insured banking institution, visit: BankFind.
- Check with the bank that supposedly issued the check to make sure it is real. Make sure you look up the phone number on the bank’s official website and don’t use the phone number printed on the check.
- Consider how and why you received the check. If someone you don’t know initiated the payment, be skeptical and proceed cautiously.
- Determine if the amount of the check is correct and as expected. Fake checks are often made out for more than the agreed upon amount.
- Official checks usually contain watermarks, security threads, color-changing ink and other security features. While scammers are able to sometimes copy these security features, the quality is often poorly executed.
If you think you’ve been targeted by a counterfeit check scam, report it immediately to any of the following agencies:
- The Federal Trade Commission at FTC Complaint Assistant.
- The U.S. Postal Inspection Service at www.uspis.gov (if you received the check in the mail).
- Your state or local consumer protection agencies. Visit NAAG for a list of state Attorneys General.
- For possible online crimes involving counterfeit checks and money orders, file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (a joint project of the FBI and National White-Collar Crime Center).
Remember to always contact Banesco USA to report any suspicious account activity or information security-related events.
To contact a Banesco USA Client Care Specialist, call toll-free from:
Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM