Fake Checks are a Big Problem
Scammers can easily produce counterfeit checks that look like the real thing. The key is to spot them before you deposit them.
The first step in identifying a fake check checker the details of the bank that issued it. You can do this online or by phone.
Make sure the name and address of the issuing bank match the details you see on the check. This is particularly important for international checks that may not have a local branch.
You should also be able to read the numbers on the check. These numbers should match the ones on the MICR line at the bottom of the check. If these numbers don’t match, the check is probably fake.
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Missing items or other red flags, such as a signature or watermarks that appear too shiny, are also signs of fraud. These can be found by rubbing your finger over the print of the check or by looking at its edges.
A check should be printed on sturdy stock paper that doesn’t smear easily. It should have a matte finish that feels thick and sturdily constructed.
The bank routing number and account numbers don’t match the numbers on the check, which is another sign that it’s a scam. Use the American Bankers Association website to search for the correct information and verify it with the bank before depositing the check.
Then, call the check’s issuing bank to verify that it’s legitimate and ask for a copy of the receipt. A legitimate bank should provide you with a copy of the check and an explanation for why it was drawn on the account.