How To Protect Yourself From Cashier’s-Check Scams
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Nowadays, many businesses and consumers use charge cards or other forms of electronic payment to ensure a smooth and honest transaction.
Another option is one that had been precedes the Internet: Cashier’s Checks.
A cashier's check is a check that is issued by a bank, and sold to its customer or another purchaser, that is a direct obligation of the bank.
Cashier's checks are viewed as relatively risk-free instruments and, therefore, are often used as a trusted form of payment to consumers for goods and services.
However, cashier's checks can become a tool for fraud when used for payments to consumers.
Although the amount of a cashier's check quickly becomes "available" for withdrawal by the consumer after the consumer deposits the check, these funds do not belong to the consumer if the check proves to be fraudulent.
Victory State Bank Shares the following tips from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for protecting yourself against cashier-check fraud:
- Try to know the people with whom you do business. When possible, verify information about the buyer from an independent third party such as a telephone directory. Be cautious about accepting checks – even a cashier's check – from people that you do not know, especially since it may be difficult to pursue a remedy if the transaction goes wrong.
- When you use the Internet to sell goods or services, consider other options such as escrow services or online payment systems rather than payment by a cashier's check.
- If you do accept a cashier's check for payment, never accept a check for more than your selling price if you are expected to pay the excess to someone else. Ask yourself why the buyer would be willing to trust you, who may be a perfect stranger, with funds that properly belong to a third party.
- A cashier's check is less risky than other types of checks only if the item is genuine. If you can, ask for a cashier's check drawn on a bank with a branch in your area.
- If you want to find out whether a check is genuine, call or visit the bank on which the check is written. That bank will be in a better position to tell you whether the check is one they issued and is genuine.
- Know the difference between funds being available for withdrawal from your account and a check having finally cleared. Your bank may be required by law to make funds available to you even if the check has not yet cleared. However, it could take several weeks to know if the check will clear or not.
Act with Caution
- Be wary of taking action before you can be sure that the payment you received is good.
- Be suspicious if someone insists that you send funds by wire transfer or otherwise pressures you to act quickly before you know the payment you received is good.
- If you receive a letter offering you a large sum of money for little effort other than sending a "processing" fee, remember: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Reject any offer that asks you to pay for a "prize" or "gift."
- Save your documents – you may need this paperwork if something goes wrong.
About Victory State Bank:
VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com .
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