How to Spot a Fake Check

Did you know if you deposit a check that is found to be fake, you’re responsible for the funds and could face criminal charges? You may find fake checks in the mail from unknown sources (probably a scam artist). Here’s how to check the check:

  • Look at the bank logo. If it doesn’t have one or it’s faded, be suspicious.


  • Study the MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) line, a series of digits at the bottom of the check representing the bank routing number, account and check number (in that order). A check with no routing number (the first nine digits) is counterfeit. You can verify bank routing numbers at:


  • Examine the signature. If it looks digitized, it was likely scanned.


  • Be wary if the amount is just under $5,000. Federal rules require that checks under that amount be available to you within five days.
About the Author

Brandon Lau grew up in Kailua and currently resides in Honolulu with his wife Andee and children Caylah, Elijah, and David. His eighteen years in real estate led him to become a Partner at ChaneyBrooks Choice Advisors. Over the past 10 years he has developed the team and systems that has created a high level of service and value for his clients.

What differentiates Brandon and his team is his consultative approach to real estate. He advises clients with relevant data and expert insight to help them make the best choices in real estate. Good choices in planning for long term dispositions, negotiating for the best price or knowing when not to pursue an investment are ways his consultative services will give you an advantage in the marketplace. His bottom line is providing service with the utmost integrity and expertise.