Fraudulent Check Scams

More often, we are seeing Check Fraud Scams in our area. There are a few different approaches the scammers take to approach members, but generally the member will receive an unexpected check in the mail. The scammer will then follow up to see if you have received the check and let you know that they accidentally wrote the check for a higher amount than intended. The member is allowed to keep the check, but only if they wire back the extra amount right away. However, the original check is fake. It takes several days for Financial Institutions to get notice of a bad check. So, the funds have been wired back or spent, the member is responsible for that money.

Tips to Avoid Check Scams:

Do NOT cash the “Unexpected” Check. Companies and people rarely send checks for no reason. If it is made out to you, DO NOT CASH it. You may try to deposit it, but ask your teller to keep track of it. If it is fraudulent, the funds will be pulled from your account.

 Do NOT keep the difference. No legitimate business will overpay and ask you to wire the difference back. If a person sends you more than the agreed price for a purchase, ensure the check is good before sending funds back.

Verify the check with the company. Call the company directly to verify the check is legitimate. Find the number on your own. Many times the check will have the correct routing number, but the company address and/or phone number are incorrect.

Read the check carefully. Check for typos in any correspondence included with the check and on the check itself. Check to make sure the company or person’s name is spelled correctly. Do not be pressured into acting quickly. It can take up to ten days or more for your Credit Union to determine if a check is fraudulent. Wait for verification before wiring or transfer