Q:

How do you verify a check instantly?

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Quick Answer

As of 2015, there are two methods for verifying a check instantly: contacting the bank directly or using check verification services. Contacting the bank is often the fastest and most accurate way to find out if there are sufficient funds in the person’s account to cover the check, explains About.com.

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Full Answer

Some banks verify a check over the phone, while others require you to visit the local branch, according to About.com. The first thing to do is call the bank by looking up the phone number yourself. Do not use a phone number given by the person who wrote the check. When calling the bank, ask about verifying the funds before depositing it. The bank may charge a fee to do it over the phone. Also be aware some banks refuse to give out this information. However, the bank should at least inform you if it is a valid check or that the account exists.

Keep in mind that even contacting a bank for verification does not guarantee the funds, advises About.com. Another check could go through first, or the person could withdraw cash before the bank processes the check. The other option is to use a check verification service. This doesn’t actually indicate whether the funds are available, but it can give you information about whether the person often writes bad checks or has had the account flagged before.

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