If you are a businessperson or owner and you deal with checks a lot, you need to be aware that there are fake ones. But if you have no knowledge of how to spot or find out which one is fake, then this article will be very helpful. So, as we journey deeper, I will be showing you 7 quick ways to spot a fake check.
Do not forget to share or recommend this article to anyone who is facing or experiencing something similar. Frankly speaking, this process is very important and needs to be carried out before you make a deposit. Scammers are developing new ways to dupe and engage in fraudulent activities, but with these tips I am about to share with you, you won’t be a victim.
How to Spot a Fake Check
It is almost impossible to tell the difference between a fake check and a real one. However, there are a few mistakes that scammers tend to leave behind when issuing a fake check. If you can locate these mistakes, you will be able to avoid such counterfeit checks. Here are the things to look out for to spot a fake check:
1. Check the Edges of the Check
Several checks that were written by a valid business have one edge that is perforated. One way to spot a fake check is to examine its edges. If all four sides of the check are smooth, then it is likely that it wasn’t issued by a financial institution.
2. Check the Bank Logo
One way to check if a check is legitimate is to check the logo of the bank. A real check will have the bank logo on it. If the logo on the check is faded or faint, then it is fake and probably copied from another source.
3. Verify the Bank’s Address
Even if the logo appears to be legitimate, you should check the bank’s website. You can also contact the customer service number to make sure that the address is correct. If the address box on the check is blank, don’t cash the check.
4. Verify the Check Number
Every valid check contains a number that appears in two places – the magnetic ink character recognition line located at the bottom of the check and in the upper right corner. If the numbers don’t correspond, then it’s a fake check.
5. Examine the MCR line
Examining the MCR line is one way to determine whether or not the check is fake. This line appears on the bottom of every check issued by a legitimate financial institution. To find out if the check is original, you should rub your finger over the line to feel the ink. The ink used for an MCR line is dull. If the ink is shiny, then the check is fake.
6. Examine the paper
Original checks are printed on thick-coated stock with a matte finish. If the check feels flimsy when bent over or appears shiny, then it is fake.
7. Examine the Signature
A consistent signature appears on several signed checks. Locate the gap in the signature or any errors. These signs show that the check is fake or that it is scanned from other sources.
There are several ways that you can check if the check issued to you is counterfeit. You should be careful when receiving checks and ensure that you don’t fall for scams.
How to Avoid Scams
There are several steps that you can take to prevent yourself from falling victim to a counterfeit check. Here are some of them:
- When a buyer wants to pay for an item through checks, you can suggest other means of payment, such as an online peer-to-peer service like PayPal.
- Make sure that you ask for the check to be drawn from local banks so that you will be able to visit the bank and find out if the check is legit. However, if you accept a check from an out-of-town bank, verify the check to see if it’s legitimate.
- Check carefully for irregularities such as those listed in the section above.
- Refrain from a sale if the buyer pressurizes you for a refund.
- Wait at least two weeks after you deposit a check from a strange source before you withdraw the money.
- Do not accept a check that is made out for more than the actual price of an item.
- Do not rely on a mobile number for a bank that a seller prints on a check. Check the bank’s official number on their website to authenticate the payment.
- Don’t send money to people you aren’t familiar with.
- Refrain from the pressure to move quickly on a payment to secure a job. If the deal is valid, it will be available even after the check clears.
Be sure to avoid all that is listed so that you won’t fall victim to a fake check.
At times, it can be almost impossible to tell the difference between a fake check and a legitimate one. But if you look closely, you will see some red flags that can indicate if the check is counterfeit.