Go back to the Security Center >
SCAM Alert: Counterfeit Patelco Cashier’s Checks
If you suspect you may be in receipt of a suspicious Patelco Credit Union cashier’s check, please call to verify issuance: 800.358.8228.
Counterfeit cashier’s checks supposedly issued by Patelco Credit Union are in circulation across the United States. There are several variations of the bogus checks, but the most common has the Patelco Credit Union name and logo but also has “San Francisco Fire CU” printed above the signature line.
Many, but not all, are being mailed by scammers to people selling items over the internet. The cashier’s check is usually made out for several thousand dollars more than the purchase price. The “buyer” requests that the seller immediately wire, via Western Union, the excess funds to a third party “shipping agent” to cover shipping charges for the item purchased. If the seller wires the money as requested, he or she will lose that money when the counterfeit check bounces. Nobody will arrive to claim the purchased item; these scammers are only interested in the cash.
Other versions of the scam involve phony inheritances, sweepstakes, loans, investments, apartment rentals, and even marriage proposals. If an Internet acquaintance from a foreign country asks you to cash a check and wire the funds as a favor, you are being scammed.
If you have received a Patelco Credit Union cashier’s check that closely resembles the images found below, we recommend that you NOT DEPOSIT OR ATTEMPT TO CASH THE CHECK UNTIL YOU HAVE VERIFIED ITS AUTHENTICITY. And certainly DO NOT WIRE TRANSFER ANY MONEY TO ANYBODY. If you do receive or see a check that looks like the image below or has a signature that looks like the image below, please contact us immediately at 800.358.8228.
SCAM Counterfeit Checks/Money Orders/Cashier’s Checks
This is a popular fraud in which someone sends you a counterfeit check to purchase something you’re selling online. Often, but not always, the check is for an amount over what you request, and the payer will ask that you cash the check and wire the overpayment back. Sometimes, the “buyer” will tell you to keep some of the overpayment for your “troubles.” If you cash the check, you become liable for the full amount once it’s found to be counterfeit.
How to Protect Yourself
Don’t cash suspicious checks. Notify Patelco and we’ll attempt to confirm the legitimacy of the check.
Be cautious of overseas buyers. If possible, sell locally, especially for high dollar items such as cars or jewelry.
Consider having payment wired to your bank account or sent through a service like PayPal.