Unwittingly Deposit a Bounced Check, Go to Jail

Let’s say you’re a bank. Why don’t we say you’re Bank of America. Sure, Bank of America.

Then let’s say one of your customers sells something on Craigslist, or eBay, or wherever. And they deposit a check from the sale with you. And that check bounces harder and higher than a superball dropped from the observation deck of the Sears Tower. Smell the juicy fees you can charge him!

But don’t stop there. You call the cops and have the customer cuffed and hauled off to jail for being party to the criminal forgery of checks. And the cops don’t read him his rights, since they’ve been too busy writing speeding tickets to catch up on the latest season of Law & Order.

So now the customer comes back to you and wants you to cover the $14,000 in fees he’s spent trying to clear his name, since he says you never gave him a chance to explain the situation before having calling him a perp and giving him an evening in a cell full of guys too high to realize their head is under the toilet bowl. What do you do?

Nothing. Say you’re sorry the guy had his ass handed to him, absolve yourself of blame, and forget about it. After all, he was arrested “for the safety of the bank employees as well as the bank customers.” An innocent guy who’s already being hit with fees for just making a deposit? Obviously a menace.

And legally, there’s nothing the customer can do. And that seems wrong to us. (We sure feel lucky that our bank didn’t send the cops a-knockin’ after one of our second-cousins-by-marriage wedding-gift checks bounced… Seriously.)

Our question remains: Why does anyone still accepts checks, for any reason, from strangers?

Check from a scammer bounces victim into jail [SFGate.com] (Thanks, Jennifer!)