A money order is a paper check that is not connected with any bank account. A purchaser has to give the money order issuer some amount in cash that they wish to send along with a small fee. In exchange, they get the money order and fill it out before giving it to a recipient. Usually, these recipients are landlords or other merchants.
It can be a convenient way to receive or send money but also susceptible to fraud. Some typical money order scams are:
Herein, the thief sends a bogus money order to the purchaser you are selling. By the time you discover that the payment is no good, they have got your stuff.
Bogus Buyer’s Remorse
It involves a fake money order mail from the scammer, which, once paid, is nullified by saying that the scammer was forced to renege on the purchase.
It is the same as remorse but basically a real-estate variation. Once the scammer expects you to deposit the money order to get the deposit, he/she immediately cancels and requests a refund.
Also known as an “excess scam,” the scammer pays with a bogus check for an amount larger than the price of the item and then asks you to refund the overpaid amount. So, alarms should go off whenever you receive an overpayment.
The fraudster requests you to allow him/her to let some kind stranger deposit on his/her behalf. Such bogus might appear legit but are often tainted. So, stay away from them for a long time.
TIPS TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED
Verify the Funds
Before anything, call the given contact number or visit the website listed on the document. Also, use the serial number to check its validity.
Look for Obvious Signs of Forgery
Every country has a separate online portal that points out the anti-counterfeiting features of its money orders. For instance, several financial institutions use watermarks and heat-sensitive inlays to safeguard their money orders. So, if you are dubious about the design features of the certificate, take it to the outlet where it is sold and ask an employee to inspect it.
Look for Tampering
Tampering on the “amount” line is a sign of bogus money order. Some fraudsters also sometimes doctor legitimate certificates. Thus, whenever you suspect something amiss, avoid making the deposit.
Be Wary of Needless Urgency
Fraudsters are mostly in a hurry, so someone who is pushing you hard to deposit might be a crook you need to keep away from.
Sit Tight When You Receive Money Order
Wait for the full amount to clear before spending any portion of the deposit. Also, don’t write a check against the deposit and issue any refund until it is verified.
The financial recording is essential as well as critical, but you need to keep up with that to keep scammers at bay. By keeping a copy of all the money orders you deposit and receipts you send to avoid unforeseen troubles. Upon being victimized by a scammer of money order, you will be able to show up with this record in front of the law.
REPORT THE SCAM
Contact your local law enforcement agency and report the scam. Besides, ask for additional assistance in where to report the crime. Since this fraud typically involves mail, you can contact your country’s IT crime branch to alert them.
LOOK FOR ALTERNATIVES
Having understood, “what is a money order and how long does a wire transfer take?” look for alternatives because this certificate is subject to several frauds. Or even then, you use it, take care and follow the aforementioned tips to avoid frauds.