How To Protect Yourself & What To Do If You Are A Victim
Don't Fall Victim To A Bad Check - Follow These Rules
- Beware of strangers attempting to cash checks. Look for temporary addresses, such as hotels, rooming houses, post office box numbers, etc. Have the person sign the check in your presence and be sure to get the person's address and a telephone number on the back of the check.
- Insist upon proper and recognizable identification and examine it carefully. Make a note on the back of the check as to the person's physical description and motor vehicle operator's license number (make sure it is a New York State license). In order to bring a prosecution, you must be able to identify the person who issued the check.
- When in doubt, don't cash a check. Ask the person to come back later with cash. Examine the check carefully. Check the date and amount making sure that nothing has been altered, erased or rewritten.
- Don't cash or accept checks for large amounts. Don't hesitate to call the bank on which the check is written. They should cooperate in checking the account. Do not accept checks on out-of-town banks.
- Do not accept third party checks or checks that are dated later than the date presented to you. Never agree to hold the check for any length of time before depositing it into your bank account. Be sure to deposit the check into your account within thirty days.
- Be particularly careful in cashing or accepting checks on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays when you cannot call the bank on which the check is drawn. Don't make cash refunds before a check clears.
- If you are an employer, assign responsibility for approval of checks to only one or two trusted employees.
If you have a check returned to you marked "insufficient funds" or "account closed," please follow this procedure:
If, upon contacting the check writer, he or she refuses to reimburse you for the check, simply return the check to your bank and request that they obtain a "Certificate of Protest" for you. Then, bring the check, protest, and other documentation of the transaction to the District Attorney's Complaint Unit.
Staff can assist you in filing a complaint, and if applicable, will initiate a prosecution. Should the evidence support a prosecution, a charge of Issuing a Bad Check will be filed, and if applicable, an additional count of larceny. Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact the Complaint Unit at 561-571-3505.