1. Money

Video:How to Spot a Fake Check

with Nick Jaynes

Want to learn how to spot a fake check? Here, see tips and tricks for easily spotting the check.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Money Videos
  • Banking / Loans Videos

Transcript:How to Spot a Fake Check

Hi I'm Nick Jaynes for About.com and this is how to spot a fake check. Have you ever opened the mailbox to find a check you weren't expecting? Perhaps for a give away you never enrolled in, or a loan you never applied for? More likely than not, it's not even worth the paper it's printed on because it's a fake.

Tips for How to Spot a Fake Check

Though most of us simply assume that spotting a fake check would be simple, fake checks make up nearly 30% of the complaints to the National Consumers League and other such agencies. Here's how to spot a fake check.

Instructions for Spotting a Fake Check

1. Edges: Most real checks have at least one perforated edge because its either been torn from a checkbook or front a check printer sheet.

2. Bank logo: Does the bank logo look faded or is there one at all? If a logo doesn't look right, it's probably not a real check.

3. Bank address: If you think a check is a fake, verify the address on the check with the issuing bank. Often times, fake checks will have fake bank addresses printed on them.

4. Check number: Look for a check number. If there isn't one or if the number doesn't match the check number in the MICR line, the check is counterfeit.

5. Amount: Usually fake checks come in amounts less than $5000. This is because federal rules require checks under five grand to be made available to the banking customer within five days of deposit

More Instructions for How to Spot a Fake Check

6. Paper: Fake checks are often printed on thinner paper stock than real checks. More often than not, fake checks feel slippery to the touch.

7. Signature: If in doubt of a check's legitimacy, inspect the signature. If it looks digitized or the spacing just isn't right, the signature could be a forgery.

8. MICR line: The numbers, which are called MICR, at the bottom of each real check are printed with magnetic ink and feel dull to the touch. Fake MICR numbers more often than not look shiny.

9. Routing number: Bank routing numbers, identifying the bank than issued the check, are nine digits long. Checks with fewer or more than a nine digit routing numbers are often fake.

Hopefully this video will help you avoid scams and spot fake checks. Thanks for watching. If you'd like to learn more, please find us on the web at About.com.

About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.