Eight years ago this month my husband and I became victims of a counterfeit cashier's check scam when our bank told us that a cashier's check we received was good, clear, verified and that we would have no problems with it. Off of that information, we went forward with a transaction. One week later the bank contacted us to let us know that the check was counterfeit, and that WE were 100% liable for the money . . . even though they had told us it was good, clear and verified.
It was this situation that brought us to create the website ScamVictimsUnited.com, where we warn people about scams, offer resources and advice, and allow people to talk with other victims on our message board. In the first two years of our site being operational we helped stop over $2 million dollars from going into scams.
Now, you would think that eight years later things would have changed. Some things have, but even today we see victims coming to our site who brought these checks to the bank and were told that they were good, clear or verified . . . sometimes by more than one bank employee . . . so the exact same situation that happened to us eight years ago is still happening to people today.
Until laws can be changed to hold the banks accountable for telling the customers that these checks are good, clear and verified and then later hold the bank customer liable when it comes back that they are NOT a true check, education is the best way we have to fight these scams.
What can you do?
Write to your law makers and tell them that you want to see banks held liable for releasing funds on checks that they have told customers are good, clear or verified, and then later reversed those words to hold the customer liable.
Sign our petition to ask for stronger consumer protection laws. If the banks are liable for the money lost, and not the customer, then they will change their practices and make SURE that every penny is accounted for before they release the money to the customer.
Contact your bank and ask them if you brought in a cashier's check for $4000, how long would it take to know you could use the money, with no worries about the check. If their answer included terms like "clear", "good" or "verified' you may want to read the information we have on what these terms really mean, and then armed with that information you may want to speak to the bank manager about better education on counterfeit checks for his staff, or go and find a bank that already does understand these items and can therefore better protect you and your money.