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"In the past we would have taken a cashier's check from any bank across the nation without question.
All banks have been accustomed to treating cashier's checks as cash. Everyone has to take some safeguards." The FDIC is receiving reports of several fake cashier's checks each month.
Seitz says very few of the counterfeit cashier's checks are being cashed at banks; they're being used to pay individuals and merchants.
The counterfeits are generally of excellent quality and may even fool the bank initially."People are getting sophisticated with PCs and scanners.We're going to be seeing a lot more of this," says Marty Ramage, fraud expert with The People's Bank & Trust Company of Tupelo, Miss.The cashier's check turns out to be counterfeit and is returned to the seller's bank and taken out of the seller's account with no recourse for recovery. But it's the auction scheme that is proving more lucrative. "Instead of going for million, they're going for ,000.An Internet-based scam to defraud people of cash starts in chat rooms on the Internet where participants tell a hardship story, usually involving having a large check they cannot cash in their own country, usually Nigeria or another West African country. They're going for smaller amounts and they are being incredibly successful." Typically, a Nigerian will contact a person trying to sell something on Internet auction sites such as e Bay.
The counterfeit cashier’s check scam has found a way to disguise this red flag.