These scams will often present checks from an actual bank, person or well-known company. Modern scanners and printers have the technology to print very realistic instruments. You may trust cashier’s checks issued by an actual bank as it represents funds of the bank and not the depositor. If the item is genuine, there is very little risk that the instrument will be returned. However, if the check is not genuine and you unknowingly accept it, you will be the one who suffers the financial loss.
- Excess of Purchase Price - You may sell an item over the internet or phone and the buyer sends you a cashier’s check for more than the price of the item. The buyer asks you to wire the excess funds to another party. The cashier’s check turns out to be fraudulent after you have sent the excess funds.
- Selling Items - You may sell an item over the internet or phone. The buyer sends you a cashier’s check and you ship the goods to the buyer. The check is fraudulent and your goods are lost to the scammer.
- Unexpected Windfall - You receive a letter that you have the right to receive a significant sum of money. These are often presented as a lottery winning or the beneficiary of an estate. The letter will state that you must pay a processing fee or transfer tax before you can receive the funds. Often included in the letter is a cashier’s check to cover the required fee. The letter will ask that you deposit the cashier’s check to your account and wire the funds. The check is fraudulent.
- Mystery Shopping - You receive a letter that you have been chosen as a mystery shopper. The letter may include a cashier’s check and you are told to deposit the check into your account and use the funds to buy goods at designated stores or transfer a portion of the money to a third party and keep the rest. The check is fraudulent.