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Understanding Check Fraud

August 4, 2017

A check is essentially a guarantee that you will pay a certain amount of money to a specific individual, but checks can be vulnerable to fraud. Then it becomes a matter of who is responsible, how you can avoid the problem, and what to do if you’re faced with it. Keep reading if you’re interested in understanding check fraud.

Breakdown of Responsibility

Dealing with a fake check can leave you frustrated and even overwhelmed, and you might wonder who is responsible for the damages. Receiving money for a deposited check isn’t the same as that check clearing. The bank is responsible for making funds from official bank checks and government and treasury checks available to you the next day, but it could take weeks to discover a fake. If you use the money in the meantime, you are still financially responsible.

How to Protect Yourself

Knowing how to protect yourself from check fraud can save you a great deal of trouble and in some cases, a great deal of money. Don’t do business with people who don’t seem trustworthy, especially if you don’t know them well. You should also be wary if a giveaway campaign claims you’ve won but asks you to pay for the prize. It’s also a good idea to only accept checks that come from banks in your local area, or at least a bank that has a branch in your area.

What to Do If You’re a Victim

If you fall victim to check fraud, you don’t have to stay silent and take the loss. Instead, contact the Federal Trade Commission or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. You can also talk to consumer protection agencies local to your state or county.

For more information about Arizona law, you can always talk to Janet Altschuler or visit her website. She is an experienced lawyer who specializes in gun crime, embezzlement, and drug possession. Feel free to call the offices at (520) 247-1789 to schedule a consultation.