Counterfeit checks are sent in the mail from the scammer to be deposited in the victim bank account. The funds are then forwarded by Western Union or Money Gram to the scammer. By the time the bank discovers the forgery the money is long gone and the sender is help legally responsible for the funds sent.
What to do with the checks
- Do not shred them
- Do not write on them
- Retain the original envelope that the check came in
- DO NOT walk into the bank and ask “is this check good” because that gives an indication that you want to cash it
You Have Two Options
If you are able to find the company or the person that the check was written off of, contact them and tell them what is going on. The purpose of this is to inform them that their account has been stolen. You have got to be honest with them though and tell them that you are a victim of a scam. They will direct you as to what they want you to do. Some want the check mailed to them. Others will direct you to turn it into a bank or the police. Others will tell you to dispose of it and how they want you to dispose of it. What ever direction they give you, ask them to give it to you in writing so that you have something to back up your actions.
If you aren’t able to find the account holder, you take them to the U.S. Postmaster and turn them over. It is very important that you take documentation to prove that you are a victim of a scam. Copies of the IMs and emails that talk about you cashing the checks or money orders for the scammers. Make sure that the official you talk to understands that you know without a doubt that you are being scammed. Making a police report will also help ensure that you’re cooperating with the authorities.
It’s important that they need to know that you have no intentions to cashing it; you are simply there to alert the account holder and to turn the check over to someone in authority.