Fake checks, with incorrect information on them, are one of the leading types of check fraud. Cashing a fake check through your bank will usually cost you at least £16, plus losing the amount of the check when the money doesn't clear. It's important to know how to identify a fake check so you can avoid being taken advantage of. The general rule is that if you don't know the person or the check seems suspicious, only accept cash or a secure online transfer of money.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Magnifying glass
Look at the edges of the check. Most personal checks have one perforated edge, and some business checks are perforated on all sides. If there are no perforated edges, there's a higher chance of it being a fake check.
Check for misspellings or errors, and check the phone number and address against a phone book (an online phone book if the location is far away). Call the phone number and see if the person whose name is on the check answers; if so, ask a few questions to determine if the check is legitimate.
Scan the dollar amounts on the check carefully with a magnifying glass for evidence of tampering. Commonly, with fake checks, people carefully change some of the numbers to make a real check valued at a higher amount. Also check the name the check is written to for signs of changes, or someone having written over the original text. Any of these edits can point to a fake check.
Call the bank listed on the check and ask it to verify the information. Even if it's a real account, the check could be bad. If possible, go to the bank in question so a teller can verify the check before you hand over the merchandise you're selling or try to deposit the check.