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.