A Cashier's Check/Official Bank Check is an instrument authorized and backed by the full financial resources of the Bank of Hindman. Cashier's checks may also be referred to as bank checks, or treasurer's checks. Cashier's checks may be obtained at any Bank of Hindman location.
- A Payee must be indicated on a Cashiers Check/Official Bank Check.
- A Cashiers Check/Official Bank Check must be signed by an authorized signer of the bank.
Tips to Avoid Cashier's Check Fraud
The Bank of Hindman is committed to helping you protect the safety of the funds in your accounts. In response to recent national reports, we are offering the following advice to help our customers avoid a growing incidence of scams involving cashier’s checks.
Here’s one typical cashier’s check scam scenario:
- An individual receives a cashier’s check. This individual is asked to deposit the check into a bank account, wait until the funds become available and then wire some part of the funds from his or her account to a third party, often in a foreign country.
Another scam involves receiving a false, unexpected windfall:
- The victim receives a letter advising that he or she has won a lottery and that the proceeds will be sent once the taxes or fees are paid. A cashier’s check is provided to cover the charges. The victim is asked to deposit the check, wait until it clears and then wire the funds to cover the taxes and fees. In most cases, the wire transfer is directed to an account in a foreign bank. The victim never receives the lottery proceeds.
How these scams work:
- In each of these scenarios, while the amount of a cashier’s check that the victim deposits to his or her account quickly becomes “available” for withdrawal, these funds do not belong to the consumer if the check proves to be fraudulent. (Funds availability is sometimes referred to as check “clearing;” however, funds availability is not a determination that a check is legitimate.)
- When the false check is returned, the bank reverses the deposit and withdraws the funds from the customer’s account.
- So if the victim irrevocably wires funds to a scam artist or otherwise uses the funds (only to find out later the check was “bad” when the fraud is detected), he or she will owe the bank the full amount of the cashier’s check that had been deposited.
- Wire transfers are an instantaneous and irreversible transfer of funds. Once the money has been wired to a third party, it is irretrievable and can’t be recovered by the bank.
What you can do:
While it can be very difficult to know if a cashier’s check is fraudulent, remember one basic rule: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are other specific tips to help you avoid cashier’s check fraud:
- Call or visit the bank on which the check is written to find out if a suspicious check is genuine.
- Know the difference between funds being available for withdrawal from your account and a check having finally cleared. It could take several weeks to know if the check will clear or not.
- Know the people with whom you do business. Independently verify information about the buyer or other person who gives you a check. This can be done through consulting a third-party source such as a telephone directory. Be cautious about accepting checks — even a cashier’s check — from people you don’t know.
- Consider other options such as online payment systems or escrow services when you sell goods and services over the Internet.
- Never accept a cashier’s 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.
- Ask for a cashier’s check drawn on a bank in your area. A cashier’s check is less risky than other types of checks only if the item is genuine.