Online Security Tips

Check Scams - How Do I Protect Myself?

There are many check scams currently being worked in our marketplace. Several involve Cashier Checks and foreign checks from Canada. Below are examples of three common scams involving cashier checks.

Example 1

Individual receives a cashier's check and is asked to deposit it into their account and wait until funds are available and then wire some part of the funds from their account to a third party, often in a foreign country.

Example 2

You receive notification that you have won a lottery from a foreign country and all you need to do is pay the taxes and fees to receive the lottery money. You may be asked to wire the money to pay the taxes or you may receive a cashier's check to pay the fee. You are asked to deposit the check and wire some or all of it to pay the fees. You will then receive the lottery money.

Example 3

You sell something on the Internet and receive a cashier's check for payment for sometimes more than the amount of the sale. You are asked to deposit the check into your account and wire some of the money back to the buyer.

Under all three examples the cashier's check will be returned as being fraudulent and the bank will debit the amount of the check out of your account. Because you endorsed the check you are guaranteeing that the check is good and if not you will make it good. This liability is found in the UCC code article #9.

Ways to Protect Yourself

1. Check out any foreign lotteries to make sure it's legal before depositing any checks or paying fees

2. If you get a check from someone you do not know for no reason do not cash the check. Bring it to the bank for inspection and send it for collection. This will protect you if the check does not get paid.

3. When selling something over the Internet ask for funds to wire to your bank for payment. Do not give account numbers but ask for the money to be wired for credit to your account.

4. If you do deposit a check from someone you do not know, let it sit in your account for one month to make sure it is good funds. The check should come back within that one month time frame.

5. Never send out or give out account information to anyone over the phone, Internet, or in writing if you do not know the people or the company.

6. Ask the bank to review any checks that you are not sure of or received for no reason.

7. Remember once you have endorsed any check you are now responsible for making the check good.

Please call Liberty Bank anytime you have questions about a check that you have received. We hope you will find these tips helpful.