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What are some tips for recognizing fraudulent bank checks?

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Quick Answer

Evaluating logos, edges of the check, the bank address, the amount of the check and the signature may aid in recognizing fraudulent checks, according to AARP. Checking the type of paper used, the routing number and the number on top right corner of the check may also be helpful.

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Full Answer

A fraudulent check may have a faded logo or lack one at all, states AARP. Fraudsters often copy the check with software or online resources. Unlike authentic checks, which have one rough or perforated side, a fake check is usually smooth on all edges, indicating it is printed from a personal computer. A counterfeit check usually lacks a street address. Contacting the bank to verify the ZIP code may help as well.

A fake check is usually printed on a lighter or slippery paper, explains AARP. Forged signatures often have gaps or stains around them, are signed with unusual pen strokes, and may appear digitized. Deposits of at least $5,000 normally take more than five days to mature, so fraudsters are likely to produce checks with lesser amounts.

A check with a number on the top right corner that is different with the one on the magnetic ink character recognition line is not legit, states AARP. Magnetic ink characters are written with ink that looks and feels dull, while fake checks have magnetic ink that looks shiny. A routing number that doesn't have exactly nine digits may also indicate the check is not original.

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