I received an unexpected check in the mail. How do I know if it is legitimate?
If you received an unexpected check in the mail, it is a good idea to research it thoroughly before deciding to accept it. This is usually the first step in a fraud scam. Here are some ways to investigate it:
- Did the check come with a letter? If so, read the letter carefully. Does it contain instructions? Many fraud scams start with a letter and a check. The letter will have instructions to send money or purchase a money order. Do an Internet search to find out if other people have received letters for the same purpose.
- Look up the business that issued the check on the Internet. You’ll find the name of the business in the top left-hand corner of the check. If you find a listing online, call the business and ask them if they issued the check. Do not call the phone number provided on the check or in the email as it could lead back to the fraudster.
- If you have trouble finding any information, take the check to the financial institution on which it is drawn. They will be able to verify if the check is legitimate.
- If you have concerns that the check you received may be a scam, take the check and the accompanying letter to your nearest RCU branch manager. You may also 1-800-479-7928 to discuss this with a member service representative.
Following these steps will help protect you from falling victim to a fraudulent check scam. If you deposit a fraudulent check into your account and spend the money (or send it to someone else), you will be held responsible for the dollar amount if the check bounces. This may result in a negative balance in your account. Even if the funds are made available to you, there is no guarantee that the check is legitimate.
I received a wire from someone I don’t know. They need me to send the funds somewhere. What is the risk? A loved one is in trouble and wants me to wire money to them. How do I know this isn’t fraud? Someone has asked me to take cash out of my account and send a wire through Western Union or MoneyGram. Is this fraud? I received a check from a new employer whom I met online. The employer needs me to send money back. How can I verify the check? Is it risky to deposit a check that may be fraudulent? I recently got a work-from-home job, and my employer sent me a check to get started. Should I be concerned? I met someone on a dating website and he asked me to send money to help him get out of a tight spot. I care about him and want to help. What should I do? My account doesn’t have a high balance. Is it still risky to give someone access to my online banking account? How can I keep my online banking account secure? I received a text message from Redwood Credit Union. Is it legitimate? How can I verify that a website is secure? What is the risk of giving someone my credit or debit? I am being asked to wire money to someone. How do I know this is legitimate? What is the risk of giving someone access to my online banking?