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Financial Friday: How to spot a counterfeit check

Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 1:02 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - That unsolicited check you got in the mail may be a fraud.

Technology has made it very easy for fraudsters to create counterfeit checks that look like the real thing.

Brian Smith, the Manager of Security and Investigations at Redstone Federal Credit Unions says, if you receive an unsolicited check in the mail, here’s what you should and should not do.

  • You should treat it as if it’s fraudulent and proceed very carefully.
  • You should not cash it. If you cash it and it is a fake, you are responsible for paying that money back. Although Redstone may put a hold on the check you deposit, it can take weeks for a fake check to be discovered and untangled. By that time, the scammer has any money you may have sent them, and you’re responsible for paying the money back to your financial institution.
  • You should not use the money from a check to send gift cards, money orders, or wire money to strangers or someone you just met. Once you wire money or give someone the gift card PINs, it is like giving someone cash. It’s almost impossible to get it back.
  • You should check with your local financial institution if you suspect that the check you just got is a fake.

For more ways to save be sure to tune in at noon every Friday for WAFF 48′s “Financial Friday” segment.

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