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Red Flags for Banking Fraud

The following information is provided to help protect yourself against fraud.

Suspicious Situations to be Concerned About:

  • You receive a negotiable item (i.e., official check, money order, business check, personal check, etc.), or item, in response to something you sold over the internet.
  • You are asked to send a negotiable instrument in response to something you purchased over the internet.
  • You are asked to send a wire transfer, gift card, or money order or otherwise return any portion of a negotiable item proceeds to a third party.
  • You have any reason to suspect that a negotiable item you receive is not valid.
  • The negotiable item is drawn on a business or individual account other than the person buying your item or product.
  • The amount of the negotiable item is more than the item price.
  • You received a negotiable item via an overnight delivery service.
  • The negotiable item is connected to communicating with someone by email or text.
  • You have been informed that you were the winner of a lottery that you did not enter.
  • You are receiving pay or commission for facilitating money transfers through your account.
  • You have been instructed to either wire, send, or ship money, ASAP, to a large U.S. city or to another country, such as Canada, England, or Nigeria.
  • You have been asked to pay money to receive a deposit from another country such as Canada, England, or Nigeria.
  • You responded to an email requesting you to confirm, update, or provide your account information.
  • You are being asked to open an account as a result of a job offer you received online.

Don’t Become a Victim


  • If a negotiable item is later returned, you will be held liable for the bad check.
  • We are not able to tell you when a negotiable item you deposit will clear.
  • Even when we lift a “hold” on funds from a deposited negotiable instrument, that does not mean the item has cleared.
  • If funds are to be held by a third party, or escrowed, be sure it is a party you can trust.
  • Always exercise extreme caution when conducting business with strangers.

Useful Resource

Stay a step ahead with the latest info and practical tips from the nation’s consumer protection agency. Browse FTC scam alerts to learn more.

Scam Alerts