How to Avoid a Cashier’s Check Scam at Schwab

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I recently sold some of my furniture and a prospective buyer wanted to pay with a cashier’s check. I’ve read about scams involving cashier’s checks where the buyer presents a fake one, takes the goods, and then you are left without the money or the product. Sometimes they even give you a cashier’s check for more than you are asking, and they have the gall to ask you to give them change for a fake cashier’s check.

To avoid this, I called Schwab to find out how Schwab handles cashier’s checks. I spoke with two representatives, one with Schwab Alliance and one with Schwab Bank, and told them about my concerns. The Schwab Bank representative said that he was familiar with these types of scams and knew how to handle it.

They each told me that the safest way to receive payment in a cashier’s check is to deposit the check while the buyer is still there.

You can deposit a cashiers check via the Schwab mobile app as you would any other check.

If the cashier’s check is fake, it won’t deposit via the mobile app. The representatives told me that Schwab Bank actually has a team of bank tellers who spend their day reviewing the check pictures. While the app says “processing,” the app is pairing you with a remote teller who is reviewing the pictures and depositing the check. That team will immediately know if the cashier’s check doesn’t work, and you will receive a message asking you to call Schwab Bank for more information.

If you get that error message, then the buyer may be a scammer and you shouldn’t let them leave with the product.

If the check deposits, I was told that I could have confidence that the cashier’s check was real and continue with the sale.

We can add remote bank tellers to the list of advantages you gain with Schwab High-Yield Investor Checking.

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash. Image has been cropped.

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Chief Operating Officer, CFP®, APMA®

Megan Russell has worked with Marotta Wealth Management most of her life. She loves to find ways to make the complexities of financial planning accessible to everyone. She is the author of over 800 financial articles and is known for her expertise on tax planning.