Depositing Fake Checks You Get From A Scammer Can Be A Crime

Depositing Fake Checks You Get From A Scammer Can Be A Crime

Fake Checks That You Received And Deposited Will Bounce And Then You Are Liable For Any Bank Losses

How Scams Work – A SCARS Insight

You Trust The Person You Are In A Relationship With And When They Send You Fake Checks You Deposit Them, Right?

Those Fake Checks Are Fraud And If You Deposit Them You May Be Committing A Felony!

Scammer’s Fake Checks that bounce will come back on you, often with the police knowing on your door for check fraud!

We know that in the middle of your online relationship, you would do almost anything the other person asks of you. You would help them in any way you can, such as depositing a check for them and sending all or part of it to someone else.

Scammers use a wide range of stories to get their victims to do what they want – namely sending them money. But sometimes, victims either run out of money or ar reluctant to send money so the scammers change tactics.

Fake Checks

Often, especially with international businessmen storylines, the scammer will send a fake cashier’s check to the victims and ask them to deposit it. Then wait a day for the funds to become available and withdraw it – either to send cash, do a money transfer to someone else or do a wire transfer. In effect, taking the money out before the deposited fake check has cleared.

Fake Checks typically take a week or two to really clear – before the money has really come into the bank. Before that, the bank is advancing the money to you, but you remain responsible if the original check does not clear.

If you withdraw the money before it clears and then it bounces, you could be facing criminal charges for bank fraud or bad check fraud. This is especially true if you have not yet reported the scam to your local police. The bank will look at the victim as the fraudster. Almost every state in the U.S. and most countries have laws against passing bad checks – it is a crime.

Passing A Fake Check

A fake check becomes a crime when the person who wrote or created the fake check or deposited it in a bank knew that there were insufficient funds in their account to cover the amount of the fake check, or that it was a fake or counterfeit check, and still went ahead and presented it to the payee or the bank with the intent to deceive or defraud. In other words, passing a bad check becomes a crime when it is done with fraudulent intent.

However, here is the problem, no one knows what is in your head or what your intent was. They evaluate it based on the act itself. So if you passed the fake checks or deposited them, you are the one that becomes the obvious criminal.

The specific laws regarding bad checks and their penalties vary by state, or by country, but generally, writing a bad check can result in criminal charges, fines, and even imprisonment in some cases. The severity of the consequences will depend on factors such as the amount of the check, the intent of the person who wrote the check, and their previous criminal record. Also, in most cases, the person who lost money has to be repaid.

It’s important to note that making a mistake, such as accidentally overdrawing your account, does not necessarily mean you have committed a crime. However, knowingly passing a bad check with the intent to defraud can result in criminal charges. But if you are charged with this, it is serious and you must seek legal counsel immediately.

Sentencing For Passing Fake Checks

The length of a jail sentence for passing a “bad: or fake check in the United States and elsewhere varies depending on several factors, including the amount of the check, the state where the offense occurred, and the defendant’s criminal history. In general, passing fake checks is considered a form of fraud and is typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony offense.

For misdemeanor offenses, the jail sentence can range from a few days to a year, while for felony offenses, the sentence can range from one to several years in prison. However, in many cases, first-time offenders may be offered a plea deal or alternative sentencing options, such as probation or community service, instead of a jail sentence.

It’s important to note that sentencing guidelines and laws related to passing fake checks can vary significantly by state, country, and jurisdiction, so it’s best to consult with a local criminal defense attorney for specific information related to your case.

Bad Timing

Often scammers send fake checks while the scam is going on, not at the end when the victim can report the crime.

This means that the person, business, or bank that received the fake check may press charges before the victim is even aware they are in a relationship scam. If the victim promptly reports the crime then there may be more latitude on the part of the injured party, but if the victim still believes the scammer or has never reported the crime after the scam ends, then the victim can face the full force of a criminal charge against them.

Protecting Yourself In The Case Of Fake Checks

If a scam victim has deposited a fake check for their scammer and it did not clear, the victim should take immediate action to protect themselves.

The first step is to contact the bank or financial institution as soon as possible to report the fraudulent check and any other related transactions. The bank may freeze the victim’s account and investigate the matter to determine the extent of the fraud and the potential for further losses.

The victim should also report the scam and the fake checks to law enforcement immediately to declare themselves an innocent victim. We suggest that you may want to have an attorney accompany you when filing the report.

It’s important for the victim to not attempt to deposit the fake check again or take any other actions that could result in additional financial losses or legal trouble. They should also be wary of any further attempts by the scammer to contact them or solicit more money, and should not provide any additional personal or financial information.

About Fake Checks

How To Spot, Avoid, and Report Fake Check Scams

Fake checks might look like business or personal checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, or a check delivered electronically. Here’s what to know about fake check scams.

With fake checks, a person you don’t know asks you to deposit a check. It’s usually for a significant amount of money, sometimes for several thousand dollars. They tell you to send some of the money back to them or to another person. They always have a good story to explain why you can’t keep all the money or just leave it until later. They might say they need you to cover taxes, buy equipment, or for an emergency, to buy supplies for a job, to send back the money they overpaid, or something else. But this is a scam. Here’s how to spot it.

Why Do These Scams Work?

These scams work because fake checks generally look just like real checks, even to bank employees. They are often printed with the names and addresses of legitimate financial institutions. They may even be real checks written on bank accounts that belong to someone whose identity has been stolen. It can take weeks for a bank to figure out that the check is fake.

Fake Checks and Your Bank

By law, banks have to make deposited funds available quickly, usually within two days. When the funds are made available in your account, the bank may say the check has “cleared,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a good check. Fake checks can take weeks to be discovered and untangled. By that time, the scammer has any money you sent, and you’re stuck paying the money back to the bank.

Your best bet: Don’t rely on money from a check unless you know and trust the person you’re dealing with and never withdraw it and forward it since that could be money laundering, another crime!


As with all relationship scams, there are serious consequences. When the scam includes fake checks the consequences can be criminal.

The key is to NOT trust the bank to look out for you, they are only looking out for themselves. You need to report the crime and find a criminal defense attorney just in case,

Do not delay, The longer you wait to take action, the more likely charges can follow. Always report the crime, and always respond immediately!

Learn More:

Fake Checks - Fake Check Scam - an Infographic on
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