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Checks and Electronic Deposit Scams

Being asked to accept funds or deposit checks with instructions to transfer funds to someone through gift card, money transfer app, bill payment, or other means is the #1 red flag of a scam! There are many variations of the deposit scam, but all involve depositing or accepting what you believe to be legitimate funds and then forwarding a portion of the funds to another individual.
Some of these scams involve checks that appear to be cashier’s checks drawn on real banks, US Postal money orders, or other “guaranteed funds.” In some cases the fraudster convinces you to provide your online banking credentials, which you should never do. It could take up to 7 business days for checks to clear the paying bank, and you are ultimately responsible for these transactions or online banking credentials you provide.

Do Not Fall for These Commons Scams:
  • You get an online job and receive checks by mail OR you are asked to provide online banking credentials to accept payments to your account. Common scam job offers include cashing US checks for companies overseas, working as a mystery shopper, working as an interpreter, doing car wrap advertising, etc.
  • You sell something online, but the buyer either mistakenly sends you too much money or they send you extra money to pay their “shipping agent.”
  • You have won a foreign lottery and you must pre-pay taxes (this is not how the government collects taxes; it is against federal law to advertise or pay out a non-US lottery through the US mail).
  • You have been chatting with someone online for months; they are overseas or need help getting funds, so they or their friend will send you the funds, and you just need to send the funds to someone else, or invest the funds for this friend. 
  • You are looking for a roommate and someone sends you a check to cover the cost of rent, or for you to purchase items for them. They unexpectedly have an emergency that then prevents them from moving and ask you to return the funds.

If you have any concerns about your security and privacy, please contact our Member Contact Center at 1-888-786-2791.