There’s a happy ending to our story, “Always Look A Gift Check In The Mouth” about the guy who opened up a new bank account just to deposit a check he thought might be fraudulent and indeed, turned out to be. Fred writes:
My brother went to the bank last Friday to talk to the branch manager about his situation which I emailed you about 2 weeks ago. The bank reported the check as fraud, not my brother. His account was cancelled because it was opened with a bad check, and he was charged $10 for depositing a bounced check. There was nothing that was entered as a negative mark on his credit report, and the case is pretty much closed.
The manager even went so far as to type up and sign a memo explaining that it was not my brothers fault and that there should be nothing against him on his credit report.
The Wachovia branch manager also offered to open a new account for him.
So, phew! None of the bad things that could have happened to Fred’s brother actually happened, like:
- The bank could have pressed fraud charges against him.
- He could have been reported to the FBI.
- A report could have been sent to Chexsystems and made it hard for him to get a new bank account or keep his new one.
So remember, always be extremely suspicious when you get an unexpected check whose provenance you’re uncertain about. If you bring it to the bank and deposit it, they’re not necessarily going to to thank you for bringing it to their attention. Just ask Matthew Shinnick.