Valley First

Cheque Fraud and Scams

Don't be a victim of cheque fraud—if someone sends you a cheque, asks you to deposit the money in your account, then requests you forward most of the funds by wire transfer or money order elsewhere, be alert.

 

Overview

How This Scam Works

  • A job posting for an Internet collection agent, a funds forwarding agent or similar position
  • A lottery or sweepstakes notification requiring you to pay a fee before collecting your prize
  • An inheritance notification regarding a recently deceased distant relative you didn’t know you had
  • An arrangement where you’re asked to transfer funds to your account for “safekeeping” and promised a portion of the money in return for your services
  • A situation where you’re overpaid for something you’re selling and are asked to return the excess funds.

Although there are many variations to these scams, they almost always have one thing in common: they seem too good to be true — and are!

Wondering how it works? The cheque sent to you isn’t usually drawn on an account in the name of the person or company with which you’ve been dealing. Instead, these cheques are usually counterfeit or stolen or altered. Sometimes other fraudulent payment items such as traveler’s cheques or money orders are used. Weeks or even months later you discover that it was fraudulent and the cheque is returned to you unpaid and the full amount is deducted from your account. Unfortunately, when this cheque or other form of payment is returned unpaid, you are responsible for any related loss. 

The bottom line? Use your best judgment before accepting payments and depositing cheques in your account.

How to avoid investment frauds and scams

Check out BC Securities Commission's Invest Right website at www.investright.org to find out more on avoiding investment frauds and scams.

If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud where it pertains to your account(s) with Valley First, please contact your branch right away.

Here are some further resources on different types of scams and how to protect yourself:

 

Protect Your Cheques

How to Protect Your Cheques

  • Lock and secure your cheques; never leave them in a vehicle or area where they can be easily obtained.
  • Frequently check the number order of your cheque book; thieves may steal cheques from the middle or back of your cheque book in an attempt to conceal the theft.
  • When writing cheques use non-erasable ink and don’t leave blank spaces.
  • Don’t leave the payee blank and avoid making a cheque payable to “cash.”
  • Frequently check your account and report any discrepancies to your branch immediately.
  • If you suspect your cheques may be lost or stolen notify your branch immediately.

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