So you just got a check from your employer, and you can’t wait to cash it. You’re thinking of the best way to do it, and going to the bank directly sounds reasonable enough. And although you’ve already planned what you’re going to do with your money, you’re forgetting one thing. That is, of course, to check the validity of your check.
Nowadays, getting a fake check is pretty common. And although you can’t fight the spread of these malevolent actions, you can protect yourself. So how do you know if a check is real or fake? Let’s find out.
Why You Want to Steer Clear of Fake Checks
Although the main reason for avoiding fake checks is apparent, other complications come with it as well. Not only that, you won’t get the money, but you might get into trouble as the person who wrote it is unreachable.
You Won’t Get Your Money
If you got a fake check as payment for whatever services you’re providing, the first thing to accept is that you won’t get your money. Even if you don’t realize that the check is indeed fake, the ATM and the bank will know. You’ll end up wasting your time and energy going to the bank only to find out that you won’t get a dime.
You’ll Owe That Money
So let’s say that you don’t have a clue that the check you received is fake, and manage to cash it (in a store or any other place). What now? Here’s what happens if you cash a fake check without knowing it. You have the money so no one can take ti from you, right? Actually, the bank will get the money back, and the only person to turn to is you.
Once the bank finds out that the cashier (or any other person that gave you the money) has been the victim of a fraud, they’ll contact them to get the information on you. Whether you knew the check was fake or not won’t matter at the time. So basically, you’ll owe the money that you earned and cashed (with a fake check), and the person who wrote it will get away with it. To avoid that, equip yourself with the necessary knowledge to prevent it all.
How to Spot A Fake Check
So how to tell if a check is fake? The list of ways to spot a fake check is pretty vast, so we’ll show you the most common methods. They are easy to perform, don’t require any sophisticated or fancy tools, counterfeit detectors, etc. The only thing you’ll need is a keen eye and a couple of pieces of advice from us. Here’s how to verify if a check is real.
The Quality of Paper
You’re probably wondering what does a fake check look like, right? Like most bills, checks are made from a different type of paper than the one used for conventional purposes. This is the first thing that you’ll notice when holding a real check. Checks are printed on thick, matte paper. If the one you’re holding is extremely thin, it’s probably not a real one. Bend the check and feel it in your hand. If you notice there’s no resistance, but instead the paper appears flimsy, it’s a fake.
Every check has a logo of the account holder’s bank. So if your employer has an account in Bank of America, the check will have their logo in the top left corner. It’s the simplest and fastest way to check validity. You can compare the actual logo of that bank to the one on the check to make sure that it’s the exact copy. Most forgers will print a flawed logo or something close to it.
Look for Altered Areas
Another way to spot a fake check is to look for altered areas. You’ll notice that something is a bit off with the writing; it could be the date that they tried to change, a letter, or a symbol. It’s really easy to spot if you pay attention to details.
The Quality of the Print
Knowing how to spot a fake check can save you a lot of time and energy, not to mention money. Fake checks are usually printed using cheap printers. Therefore the print itself and the ink won’t be of superb quality. If you have a check that you suspect is fake and everything else fails in terms of exposing it as fraudulent, there’s one more thing to try. It may sound absurd, but try smearing the print. If the ink smears over the paper, it’s a fake one. The print on real checks won’t smear no matter how hard you try.
What to Do When You Get a Fake Check
Once you establish that the check you got from your “employer” is indeed a fake one, it’s time for action. So the first thing you should do is contact the bank. Find a number of the account holder’s bank, and make a call.
Present your situation and explain under which circumstances you received the check. Mention that you have your suspicions regarding the validity of the check and wait for further instructions.
Once asked, give them the account number of the person who wrote the check. They will check whether the person has an account in their bank. If not, they’ll inform you and provide further information. At that moment, you’re clear, and the check will be invalid officially.
Most Common Scams Associated with Fake Checks
There are many scams associated with fake checks. Here are only some of them as the list is indeed a big one.
One of the most common scams is the one where you allegedly won the lottery. You’ll receive a message or an email stating that you’re the lucky winner. After contacting the person in charge, they’ll say that you were declared a winner a long time ago, but due to error in the paperwork, you’re notified late.
They’ll ask you to pay a small processing fee before they can send you a check. This is, of course, a lie, and as soon as you pay them, they’ll disappear. You’ll never get the check, and there will be nothing left to do to get your money back.
The type of work depends on your profession, but the plan of the scam is the same. Once you get an email that you got the job, the elusive employer will ask you to pay a contract fee. After that, you’ll be able to proceed, provide services, and get a check. It goes without saying that you should not pay them a dime as it’s obviously a scam.
Being a mystery shopper is a great way to earn money online for some. As a mystery shopper, you’ll be asked to purchase a product or a service, leave feedback, and you’ll get reimbursed for your services and the product/service you purchased. It’s another way to get money from you, as you’ll never see your reimbursement money.
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