Depositing a fake check is not something that often happens. If you are lucky, you will go through your entire career without ever encountering this situation. However, if it does happen to you, what do you do? If someone hands you a check, and there’s no reason to believe it’s fake, then you are probably safe depositing it. That said, there’s no way for you to know for sure whether or not it’s real unless the person giving you the check gives you some kind of assurance. Checking with someone that knows about these things is your best bet if you want to be sure. Your bank may also have a process in place for employees to follow when checking for authenticity. What happens if unknowingly deposit a fake check?
What Happens If You Unknowingly Deposit A Fake Check?
If you deposit a fake check, you may be liable for the amount of money that it is for. Also, you may be held responsible for any damages that the bank may incur due to your deposit. You will also have to pay a fine if you are found guilty of this crime. This is because the fake check will not clear, or it will bounce. So the bank will charge you with an overdraft fee and other charges as well.
The Consequences Of Unknowingly Depositing A Fake Check?
- If you have an account with a bank, you will likely be charged an overdraft fee. The bank will charge you for the amount overdrawn by the fake check. Overdraft fees can be thousands of dollars.
- You may lose your job if you are fired because of this.
- Your credit report will be affected when it is time to apply for new loans and mortgages.
- You may also have to pay compensation to the person who wrote the check and lost their money because of your deposit of a fake check into their account. This is called restitution, and it can be expensive to pay off in order to make things right again with that person.
- The person who wrote the check may sue you in civil court and get a judgment against you for all of the money that was deposited by mistake, then they would get all of your assets and money as well (your bank accounts, real estate, etc.).
- You could go to jail if convicted of depositing a fake check or stealing from someone else’s account (for example if they have an ATM card or debit card). If found guilty in criminal court, you could serve time in jail as well as pay restitution for the damages done by your actions (in this case your crime). You would also likely lose all of your possessions such as real estate, vehicles, and other valuables that were bought on credit with money obtained from the bank.
- You could lose your driver’s license if convicted of depositing a fake check or stealing from someone else’s account (for example if they have an ATM card or debit card).
- You could be sued in civil court by the person who wrote the check for damages done to them and their reputation.
- You may also be subject to other actions such as theft charges, fraud charges, and identity theft (all of which are very serious crimes that can result in jail time). This is because you allowed yourself to be tricked into doing something you knew was wrong and illegal.
- You could lose all of your possessions such as real estate, vehicles, and other valuables that were bought on credit with money obtained from the bank.
- You will likely have to pay restitution for all of the money you stole from this person, including paying back all of their losses (for example, paying out credit card debt), as well as paying for any damages done by your actions (in this case your crime).
- The person who wrote the check may sue you in criminal court and get a judgment against you for all of the money that was deposited by mistake, then they would get all of your assets and money as well (your bank accounts, real estate, etc.). If found guilty in criminal court, you could serve time in jail as well as pay restitution for the damages done by your actions (in this case your crime). You would also likely lose all of your possessions such as real estate, vehicles, and other valuables that were bought on credit with money obtained from the bank.
How To Avoid This Situation?
- Make sure the check is real. Check the address on the check and make sure it matches the bank account you intend to deposit it into. You also have to make sure that the bill number is correct. This will help you avoid your account being overdrawn.
- Do not write a personal check unless you are certain of its authenticity. Write a business check instead and deposit it in your personal account, or send money electronically via PayPal or other methods of transferring funds between accounts.
- If you are depositing checks for others, don’t just send them to their bank accounts without verifying with them first that they actually exist and are not fake checks written by someone else who wants to get their hands on their money (which can be very easy). If they tell you that they don’t think it’s a good idea, tell them why, and then ask them if they’d like to verify by mailing one in themselves instead of sending it through your bank. Be courteous but firm about this issue, as this may be their only recourse if they feel pressured into accepting the checks in question and having no recourse at all if they get scammed later on down the line (and all too often, people do get scammed).
- If all else fails, don’t deposit any checks at all from strangers – this should go without saying but it bears repeating nonetheless: do not accept any money from strangers who want to give you cash! It may sound harsh, but it’s not like you’re going to be able to return the money anyway once you get it.
- Be cautious when accepting checks that are made out to a business and have no account number on them. If this is someone trying to scam you, they will make up an account number for the business in question, write out a check for that amount and leave it with your employer (or with whomever you work for). If this happens to you, contact your bank immediately and ask them if they know of any accounts that match the information on the check. If they do, then call the company listed on the check (or call their local branch if they don’t have one) and ask them if they know anything about any accounts being opened thereby someone named “John Smith.” If they do, then call your bank again and ask them if they would be willing to report this suspicious activity to their fraud department (they will probably not be happy about getting involved in another customer’s personal financial affairs but it’s better than losing money).
- Only deposit checks into an account that is yours or which is directly related to some type of business transaction or activity in which you are involved (such as a business checking account). You should never deposit a check into an account that does not belong to you unless you have been told by someone who knows what he or she is talking about that it is safe for you to do so – many banks will not accept checks made out to someone else if no account number is on the check and the person who wrote it does not have a current account with that bank.
- Always cash your paycheck in person at your bank or credit union. Not only will this way ensure that you have physically handled the money before you deposit it, but it will also deter people from trying to pass off fake checks as real ones by depositing them into an account that belongs to someone else and then withdrawing cash from that account.
If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of unknowingly depositing a fake check, you’ll want to work as quickly as possible to get it resolved. The first thing you should do is call the person who gave you the check and ask them about the transaction. If they don’t give you a good explanation, you should call your bank and ask them to put a stop to the transaction. After that, you’ll have to wait until the person who wrote the check is found and served with a court summons. It’s a long process, but it’s the only way to be sure you’ll get your money back eventually.