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: http://www.fededirectory.frb.org/reserve.cfm
- 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.