Fake Check Scams

With fake check scams on the rise, Luther Burbank has security protocols in place to help protect your accounts. Stay one step ahead of scammers by learning how to recognize a fake and what you can do to protect yourself.

Spotting a Fake

From cashier’s checks and money orders to corporate and personal checks, fakes have many forms. Scammers use high quality printers and scanners to make counterfeit checks containing authentic-looking watermarks, account and routing numbers as well as names and addresses of legitimate financial institutions.

How Fake Check Scams Work

Counterfeit checks have been used in several scams including those involving foreign lotteries, mystery shoppers and internet auctions. A more typical scam involves someone you do not know asking you to deposit a check for more than what you are owed. The scammer then requests that you send back the extra amount by wire, cash or gift card, claiming they accidentally overpaid. By the time the check is discovered as fraudulent, the scammer already has your money and has disappeared.

What You Can Do to Defend Yourself

Tips for guarding against fake check schemes include avoiding offers that request you to pay for a prize or a gift, entering foreign lotteries, or wiring money to a stranger. Take the following additional precautions when selling goods online:

  • Do not accept a check for more than the selling price. Insist that the buyer write the correct amount.
  • Request a check drawn from a local bank. Stop by or call the bank to confirm the check’s validity.
  • Resist any pressure from the buyer to send the goods before the check has cleared.
  • Suggest an alternative method for payment, like an escrow or online payment service. If the buyer insists on using a service you do not recognize, visit the website to review their terms and privacy policy, or call customer service.
  • If the buyer urges you to wire funds to settle an overpayment or for any other reason, end the transaction immediately.

Victim Assistance

If you believe you have been the victim of a fake check scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (consumer.ftc.gov) and contact your local police department immediately.


To report fraudulent activity on a Luther Burbank account, call us at 844.269.1031, Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm (PT).