It is possible you got paid with a cheque, but you are not exactly confident with the person who wrote the cheque. According to thebalance.com, you may need to find out if the cheque is going to bounce before you deposit it in your bank account. (Most banks charge a fee for bad cheques). You can check the cheque to find out if it’s bad – instead of depositing it before finding out.
Yes, you can check out a cheque before depositing it – and it is wise to do so if you have any doubts.
You’ll never know for certain if the cheque will bounce, but you can get some good information (and possibly even a guarantee) to help you decide what to do with the cheque.
There are several items to check on. For example, you may ask the following questions: Does the current account have funds available? Is the cheque a legitimate document or a fake? Does this person make a habit of bouncing cheques?
1. Verify Funds
If you’re holding on to a cheque that’s suspect, a good first step is to try to verify funds in the account. To do so, contact the bank that the cheque is drawn on and ask to verify funds. Some banks, in the interest of privacy, do not provide any information – so you won’t know any more than you did before you called. Others will tell you if there is currently enough money in the account to cover the cheque. Of course, that information is only a ‘snapshot’ of what’s available in the account at the moment you check. The account holder could withdraw funds, or other charges could hit the account after you hang up.
If you’re able to verify funds and you know that the cheque is good, deposit the cheque immediately.
If you can’t verify funds (or if you want to improve your chances even more), take the cheque to a branch of the bank that the funds are drawn on. You may be able to cash the cheque there instantly – which eliminates the chances of the cheque bouncing.
2. Genuine Document
It’s possible that you’ve been paid with a fake cheque. With today’s technology, it’s easy to copy a real cheque and print a genuine-looking (but fake) cheque. The result: when you try to deposit the cheque, it will most likely be returned due to fraud.
Inspect every cheque you receive to see if it is a real cheque. If you have any doubts, don’t accept the payment. Most cheques have security features, which are described on the back of the cheque. However, verifying security features on a cheque isn’t foolproof. Sophisticated con artists can always buy genuine cheque stock (the security paper that cheques are printed on).
3. A Database of Bad Cheques
If you run a business, you might accept cheques regularly and wonder if those cheques are any good. Verifying funds can be time-consuming, and it may not be possible to do so while customers are standing in line.
The best way to protect yourself when bad cheques are common (or just too expensive) is to use a cheque verification service.
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