Simply put, a cashier’s check is a direct obligation from the bank and there is no risk that the cashier’s check will every bounce or be invalid. This makes it different from a personal check, where the financial responsibility is on the person who wrote it.
This allows criminals and fraudsters to try to take advantage of this by creating fake cashier’s checks and use them for scams. Learn how you can verify a cashier’s check to avoid being the victim of check fraud.
How To Verify a Cashier’s Check
There a couple of things you can do to make sure that your cashier’s check is legitimate. To avoid being a victim of fraud, make sure you follow these steps on how to verify a cashier’s check.
Don’t Accept a Cashier’s Check If There Are Signs of a Scam
A common cashier’s check scam is the overpaying for items online. So, if you receive payment for an item for more than the actual purchase price, there is a chance it is a fraud.
In addition to the overpayment scam, there are other common scams to watch out for such as:
- Prize or lottery awards
- Prepayment for mystery shopping involving check deposits and wire transfers
Examine the Cashier’s Check
There are distinct features that are specific to the bank that issues the cashier’s check to look out for. If you researched what the check is supposed to look like and they say that there is a watermark or microprint on the check, make sure to look for that on the check that was given to you.
Typos are another big giveaway that the check is fraud. Fake cashier’s checks can sometimes be sent from senders overseas.
Visit or Call the Bank
At the end of the day, only the bank that supposedly issued a cashier’s check can truly verify it. A big thing to remember is that you can’t verify a cashier’s check online, but there are other options.
If the check is issued from a bank that has a branch near you, there’s no better approach than to take the check into the bank and ask for verification. At a larger bank, such as Wells Fargo, cashier’s check verification would follow a set process. There’s no charge to verify a cashier’s check.
If you can’t visit the bank in person either due to distance or the fact that they don’t have physical locations, simply call the phone number listed on the check. Make sure it is the same number listed on their website as well. From there, they can help you verify the check by giving them these pieces of information:
- Check number
- Name of the person who gave you the check
- Payment amount
How To Cash a Cashier’s Check
The best method to cashing a cashier’s check to avoid any problems is to cash it with the bank that issued it, as the validation process is easier. If you’re sure that it is legit, then you can always cash it at any other bank that you have an account with. You will need to verify your identification as the person the cashier check is supposed to be written to.
Normally, a cashier check will take some time to clear because it must be validated. Certain check-cashing businesses and many Walmarts can cash the check for you. Although, they will charge a fee to do so.
What To Do If You’re a Victim of Cashier’s Check Fraud
If you believe you’re a victim of a cashier’s check fraud, it is important that you report it immediately. Call your bank and talk to them about how to resolve the issue. You should also report it to:
If the cashier’s check was sent by mail, you should also report it to the United States Postal Inspection Service.
It’s unfortunate that fraudulent activity can come about a simple cashier’s check. That’s why it is important that you know all the steps in preventing it and dealing with it. This is especially important if you’re a business owner who makes their living from sales. For more posts like this, check out our list of bank guides!