Friday, November 21, 2008

Fake Checks due to Internet Sale Listings

One of our members has received no less than three counterfeit checks from three different sources in connection with a rental property that was listed on a popular Internet listing site. The fake checks were delivered by overnight priority mail and looked like any other legitimate cashier's or bank check. In each case, the check delivered was for considerably more than the cost of the property rental. The "buyer" and sender of the checks wanted money wired back to them to cover additional costs associated with the rental property. No checks were ever negotiated as the member correctly questioned the check items and contacted the financial institutions listed on the checks. All items were verified as counterfeit checks.

Please be extremely cautious when transacting business with unknown parties delivering checks for goods or services over the Internet. Scammers from all over the world visit these online listing sites and attempt to fool people into sending them money from fake checks delivered in conjunction with the listings.

Checks can be counterfeited fairly easily these days. Know who you are dealing with when depositing negotiable check items into an account. Once that item is deposited, the member is legally responsible for the full amount of the check if that check is returned unpaid.

Here is a good web site with information on counterfeit checks: .

Monday, November 17, 2008

Check Cashing Scheme

A non-member was recently arrested in our main office lobby for attempting to cash a stolen check from one of our credit union members. A thief had stolen the member's checks and was writing checks to people all over town. The thief was convincing people to cash the checks at their own institutions in exchange for being paid $30 or so for their "assistance".

Our member had already reported the checks stolen which is why we contacted the police when one of the stolen checks was presented at the teller window. Possession of a stolen negotiable item is a crime, which is why the non-member at the credit union was arrested.

Please know who you receive checks from. The holder of a check is responsible for that check if it is cashed or deposited. If that check turns out to be a stolen check, you could face criminal prosecution for the stolen item. If the check turns out to be an insufficient check, you would be losing your money. Neither scenario is an acceptable risk for negotiating the check of a stranger.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Audio Response Unit Changes

Our MemberLink 24-Hour Audio Response Unit was recently replaced. This replacement was required since the previous unit was no longer supported for maintenance or repairs by the system vendor. If the old unit had malfunctioned or crashed, members would have been without the audio response service for weeks if not months while a new unit was configured.

Menu items have changed somewhat with the new audio response unit. Please listen carefully to all menu options as a result. The POUND key " # " is not used as often as the old unit's menu. If the POUND key " # " is entered when it is not requested by the menu, the general menu will be provided.

To bypass the initial message explaining the unit change, simply input the STAR key " * " to receive the general menu options. This can be entered at any time during an audio response call to return to the general menu options.