Message from ROUTE6x6 Concerning internet scams:
Be Wary of Cashier's Check Fraud Scam
In recent months there have been many reports of counterfeit cashiers checks, money orders.
The fake cashiers checks may appear to be authentic -- including the name of a legitimate United States bank and even containing the magnetic routing codes that appear along the bottom of the check.
This is how the typical cashiers check scam works. A seller is advertising a valuable item over the Internet. A
"buyer," often from a foreign country, contacts the seller about purchasing the item and states that he plans to
use a cashiers check issued from a bank in the United States. The buyer tells the seller that he either
mistakenly sent too large a check, or that he will be sending a check for more than the purchase price. In
either event, the seller is instructed to immediately wire the "balance" back to the buyer.
The unsuspecting seller then deposits the cashiers check in their bank account. Under federal banking law,
the customer's bank is required to make those funds available to its customer on the first business day after
the funds are deposited. So, the unwary seller is able to withdraw the "overpayment" before the check winds
its way back to the bank that supposedly issued it. That can take seven days, or even longer. Of course, after
wiring the money back to the buyer, the scam artist is nowhere to be found.
According to the Bankers Association and the Independent Bankers of America, the consumer --
not the bank -- is responsible for counterfeited funds they deposit into their account. That is because, under
US law, a consumer depositing a check into their account makes certain warranties to the bank
regarding the authenticity of that check. If the check is ultimately dishonored, the seller becomes obligated to
pay the amount due on the check. The bank whose name appears on the counterfeit check has no
responsibility to honor it.
In order to avoid becoming a victim of this scam, the Bankers Association, the Independent Bankers
of America , Your states Attorney office, offer the following tips whenever you are offered a
Never accept a cashiers check, money order for an amount greater than the purchase price.
Call the bank that issued the cashiers check, money order when you receive it. Do not rely on the phone number that the buyer gives you. Locate the banks number from a reliable source, such as a phone book.
When calling a bank, verify the following information: the check number, the name of the person to whom the
check was issued, and the amount of the check.
Be sure to wait until you can verify the authenticity of the check prior to giving the buyer the goods. Sometimes
these "buyers" wait to give the seller a check on the weekend or when banks are closed, and the check cannot
be verified right away.
Citizens are warned that fraudulent cashiers checks are not limited to foreign scams, but are used in a
variety of transactions. Victims of a cashiers check scam should contact their local law enforcement agency.
Victims of the internet cashier's check, money order, scam should also contact the U.S. Secret Service at (303) 866-1010.