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There are a lot of ways for people to run scams. The internet has helped this endeavor quite a bit. However, some scams are classics. The cashier checks fraud scams fall into this category. 

In this article, you will learn all about the most common cashier check fraud scams and how to protect yourself from them. 

fake money

What is Cashier Check Fraud?

Cashier checks are a specific type of check. They are typically guaranteed by a bank or other financial institution. They are signed by a cashier or teller and draw upon the financial institution’s own money. This means that the bank guarantees payment of the cashier’s check, an individual person does not. 

Cashier checks are a great way to be paid for big purchases. They provide guaranteed funds and can usually be used in just one business day. Plus, you don’t have to worry about cashier checks bouncing because they are guaranteed by the financial institution. 

This article is not meant to make you hesitant to use cashier checks. In fact, we highly recommend them. There are a lot of cashier check scams out there though. In order to ensure you receive the money you expect, you need to know the top cashier check frauds and how to protect yourself from them. 

Popular Check Fraud Scams

There are a lot of potential cashier check frauds. But, here are the top five. Knowing how to spot these will give you the tools you need to protect yourself against all cashier check fraud scams. 

  1. Work from Home

The first scam we want to highlight is the work from home fraud. Many people now work from home. That occupation in and of itself is not a scam. However, be on the lookout for a “job” that goes something like this: You are hired as a “check processor.” The job is that you will receive a cashier check and you must cash it into your own account, and they forward the money to another person. 

There are many variations, but that is the main bones of the scam. Never fall for this fraud. The scammer is essentially having you launder money for them. You will be complicit in the fraud and could potentially be prosecuted. 

check thief

  1. Buy Goods or Services

Another very common cashier check fraud scam is when you are hired to buy or sell goods or services. In this scam, you are the person being scammed. The scammer will hire you to purchase products or sell them. Then you receive a cashier check for the agreed-upon price. After you cash the check, you realize that it is fraudulent, and you are out that time and money. 

With a little research you can tell if your dealing with a fake check or not?

  1. Mystery Shopper

The mystery shopper scam has been around as long as the internet. It was extremely common to run into it on Craigslist. Like many of the scams on this list, the mystery shopper fraud revolves around you believing you have been hired for a job. In this case, you have been “hired” to act as a mystery shopper. The scammer gives you a cashier’s check and you deposit the funds. You are told to purchase goods at specific stores to “evaluate” them and then wire money and send the products to a third party. 

When the cashier’s check does not clear, you will be out the money you spent on the products and the money you wired. 

  1. Property Rental

The property rental cashier’s check fraud will only affect those people who own rental properties. But, with Airbnb and other similar services not extremely popular, it is worth being able to spot this scam. Beware of a person who contacts you to say they are interested in renting your property sight unseen. The story will likely be that they are taking a new job and so have to move quickly. 

rental scam

They will then want to send you a cashier’s check to cover first and last month’s rent and a security deposit. Once you have cashed the check, they contact you to say the job fell through. You then need to wire them back the first and last month’s rent, but you can keep the security deposit. Of course, the cashier’s check is fake. This means, you receive no money, and you are out the price of the first and last month’s rent. 

  1. Foreign Lottery

This one is extremely similar to the “Nigerian prince” scam. In the foreign lottery cashier check fraud, you receive word that you have won a foreign lottery, or someone related to you has died. Often these notifications come through your email or the mail. You may even receive a cashier’s check with the notification. You are told to cash the cashier’s check and then wire a portion of the money back to the sender to cover fees or taxes. Because the cashier check is fake, you never receive any money, but you will be out the money you wired to the scammer. 

You should all know by now that this is a scam and no Nigerian prices need your help. 

How to Protect Yourself

All cashier’s check fraud scams have a single goal, taking your money. The scammers are relying on the day or longer wait time for the cashier’s check to clear. Because you don’t have the money right away, it is easier for them to get you to send your own money to them. Don’t fall for these scams! 

In addition to recognizing the scams described above, here are a few ways to protect yourself against cashier’s check fraud scams. 

  • Only accept cashier’s checks from people you know. This can be a little hard in the age of online sales. But, not accepting cashier’s checks for items you buy or sell online is a good way to protect yourself. 
  • Do not wire money or do anything else until you know the cashier’s check has cleared. This is the best way to protect your money from scams. If the cashier’s check does not clear, then you are not out any funds. Anyone who is not a scammer will agree to wait until you have confirmation of payment. If they try to pressure you to wire them money before the check has cleared, you can be pretty sure it is a scam. 
  • Contact the financial institution on the cashier’s check. They should be able to verify if the check is genuine or not. Do not just use the contact information on the check though. Smart scammers will set up fake phone numbers and email addresses. Look up the institution yourself and then contact them using that information. 

Conclusion

Cashier’s checks can be a great way to give and receive money. You just have to ensure you protect yourself from fraud and scams. The best way to do this is to recognize the most common cashier check fraud scams. Keep an eye out for the scams described in this article. You may come across ones that are variations on a theme as well. 

Do not fall for cashier’s check scams. Use the tips for protecting yourself to ensure your money stays safe. When it comes to scams, knowledge is power. So, if you want more information about cashier’s check fraud scams, you can visit here and here.

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