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Cashier's Check Fraud

At Legacy Bank we are committed to providing you with information and tools for your financial protection and security. To continue that commitment, we would like to call to your attention the rising occurrence of cashier's check fraud that is taking place throughout the country. Below are some of the most common scenarios dealing with cashier’s check fraud, as well as ways you can prevent this kind of fraud from happening to you.

Typical Fraud Scenarios

These first two examples apply to risks with selling merchandise to someone you don’t know, possibly on an internet service like eBay®...

  • You are selling an item in the marketplace or on the internet, and after you ship the item the buyer sends a fraudulent cashier's check.
  • Another scenario would be where the buyer sends you a fraudulent cashier's check for more than the purchase price of the item you sold, and then wants you to send them the excess money by wire.

This next example covers scams where you are told you will be receiving a large sum of money...

  • You receive a letter telling you that you have won a foreign lottery or
  • You are notified that you are the beneficiary of an estate.

In both cases you will be told that a partial payment in the form of a cashier's check is included with the letter. You are then told to wire transfer money in order to cover a tax or processing fee to receive the rest of the money promised.

In each of the above scenarios, you might believe the cashier's check is valid when it is actually fraudulent. If you deposit the fraudulent check it will ultimately be returned to the bank without being paid. When this happens, the deposit you made to your account is reversed, resulting in a loss of any funds wired, or to the goods sold, or both.

How to Prevent Cashier’s Check Fraud

With recent counterfeit check fraud appearing all across the country, here are a few tips to protect yourself if you receive a cashier’s check from an unknown source...

  • Verify The Check: Immediately contact the bank or credit union listed on the check to verify the authenticity of the check. Confirm the check number, amount of the check and the name of the person to whom the check was issued.
  • Accept Exact Payment: Never accept a cashier’s check for an amount greater than the purchase price. In some scams, a buyer provides payment with a cashier’s check that is more than the purchase price. The seller is then asked to return the extra money, usually a large sum of money, to the buyer. Unfortunately, the transfer of funds back to the buyer is complete before the check clears. It could be a genuine mistake, or a way to cheat you out of your money.
  • Hold The Merchandise: You should never give merchandise to the buyer until you have verified that the cashier’s check is legitimate.

If you have questions or concerns that we could be of assistance with, please contact your local Legacy Bank.