Can you tell the difference between a fake check and a real one?
September 5, 2008 7:35pm CST
What are the differences between a real check and a fake one? This is the fake check that I received by UPS lately. It is guaranteed FAKE. I called the bank and had it verified as fraud. Now, the big question: What are the clues that give this away as being a fake? Does anyone here have any answers? Let's learn together how to prevent fraud.
2 people like this
6 Sep 08
If a check is unsolicited, chances are it is a fake. If I am expecting a check from a legitimate company with I have done business with, and was told about ahead of time, then the check is probably real. A legitimate company would not rip off it's customers for fear of the legal action those customers would take, if the company didn't hold up its end of the deal.
• United States
6 Sep 08
Very good point! But, I am also talking about the physical characteristics that distinguish a real check from a fake one, especially for businesses and banks that get presented with fake checks from time to time. Do you have any ideas about some of those physical characteristics? I have already started making rounds with this fake check, showing it to local businesses, and have gotten varying responses about how real it looks and some clues that they might have spotted if any. I am trying to help educate people about fraud prevention.
• Cambridge, England
6 Sep 08
Sadly, it's almost impossible to tell a real cheque from a bad one until it bounces. Both may be written on an official bank cheque form and signed. Only the bank that it's drawn on will be able to tell you whether that person has the funds to cover the amount of the the cheque. Unless we are suspicious to start with, it is quite possible to deposit the cheque with our bank, draw funds on the strength of it and then find, maybe a week later, that the cheque was a fraud. By then, of course, we may have spent the money and our bank will then charge us fees and interest for overdrawing. By then, too, the person who issued the dud cheque will have long gone! This kind of scam is well known. Someone persuades you that they need you to bank cheques for them for a commission. The cheques will be quite large and you will be asked to bank them and forward the amount less your commission to another person. The first few cheques may be genuine and everything will seem OK, then you will be asked to handle larger amounts of money and sometime soon you will find that the cheques will be returned uncleared. By that time, of course, your account has been cleaned out, the 'agent' has vanished and you are left footing the bill. You acted wisely in calling the bank first to have it verifed as a fraud before you did anything with it.
• United States
6 Sep 08
VERY good point! When one is suspicious about a check, ALWAYS verify it first with the bank that it is drawn on! I took this fake check just now to a grocery store across the street and talked with the bank manager briefly since he just happened to have a few moments free. He said that there were still some physical characteristics that were missing from the check. He said that he is going to make a note of these physical characteristics and forward it to loss prevention. Even he said that the criminal did a very good job in making the check, and that he put a lot of time into it. Still, the criminal did not accurately reproduce those certain physical characteristics. I guess that even the best of inkjet printers and whatnot still can't quite get them 100% right. You are right, though, in that with such advanced technology, it has become easier and easier to make counterfeit checks, money, and other counterfeit things. It seems that one must spend an awful lot of time studying fraud and fraud prevention in order to keep from being a victim. That is very interesting, what you said about fake checks being written on official bank forms and signed. I really did not know that. And, I also did not know about the particular fraud scheme that you mentioned. Wow, criminals are sure getting creative nowadays! And, it is very sickening, how the victim is left paying for the bill. It makes me really angry, that the criminal who sent me the fake check tried to dupe me out of $3,500 US. I am not exactly made of money! Look at the fake check again in the photograph, and you will see that it is indeed made out for $3,500. Every time I see that I shake my head. Wow, that's a lot of money!