On Monday, a client deposited a cashier’s check and emailed me a copy. In the email, I was told that the check exceeds the payment amount and that I need to wire back a refund of $2,600.
In the back of my mind, I recalled that there was a scam involving counterfeit cashier’s checks and when you wire back the money, your deposit bounces, and your wire is gone and along with your money. I told the client that we had to wait before we could send the wire. Something did not smell right.
And then I saw the wire information. We were instructed to send the money to a Greek Bank in the Ukraine. That clinched it.
I contacted our officer at our bank and had them call the Credit Union in Ohio that purportedly issued the check. Two hours later, we received an email from our bank notifying that the deposited check was fraudulent.
Thankfully, the deposit was for future services, so, except for the expectation of future income, we suffered no loss.
Then I asked our bank how long I would have had to wait before the check was actually guaranteed to be good. I was shocked with the answer – that the issuing bank could assert claims for 1-3 years after the deposit.
Lesson to be learned – What appears to be a guarantee may not be.
Howard Lipset, CPA
Progressive Management, Inc.