The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the economy has been disastrous so far. Thanks to the relief measures, Americans are likely to get stimulus checks soon. Mostly, stimulus checks are send via email, while others may get money in bank accounts in weeks to come. If you find a check in your email and are wondering – Why did I receive a United States treasury check?, know that this could be related to the relief measures. However, this is also the time for Americans to be aware of check scams. These checks look very similar to the ones issued by U.S. Treasury.
The good news is U.S. Treasury has incorporated a few security features, which are meant to prevent such scams. Here’s an overview of check scams at a glance.
Understanding check scams
A typical check scam involves sending someone a check worth more than expected, and in return, the scammer asks the individual to send money back via wire transfers. Scammers use varied means to attract individuals to these checks. They may tell you that en-cashing the check may mean saving on fees and other charges. More often than not, people don’t even notice that the check is not same as the ones issued by U.S. Treasury. Once the individual has deposited the check and wired the money, the scammer is gone. By the time the bank informs you of a bad check, you have already lost money.
Knowing the Security Features
It is important for every individual to know the security features that the U.S. Treasury have on their checks. One such feature is micro-printing, and then there is the Treasury Seal, which is very unique and mentions ‘Bureau of Fiscal Services’. The treasury seal uses bleeding ink, which is yet another security feature. Watermarks are on U.S. Treasury checks too, and you will be able to see the same when the check is held against a light source.
Being a smart consumer
Fraudulent or scam checks are not as uncommon as you may think, and if you have come across one, make sure to inform the U.S. Department of Treasury. At the least, every customer should know that the government will never send a check against which a payment will be asked for. Also, the source of the check is important. You will get authentic checks only from United States Treasury.
Keep an eye on check scams and be aware of the various means used by scammers.