12. How can I prevent becoming a victim?

  • Think about it. There is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check or money order and ask you to send cash anywhere in return. 
  • Be aware that just because you can get the cash quickly – usually in one to five days – doesn’t mean the check or money order is good. Crooks take advantage of the fact that counterfeits can take weeks – even months – to discover. By then you’ve sent the money and have to pay it back to your bank.
  • Only cash a check or money order for a close relative or someone you’ve met in person and known for a long time, since you’ll be responsible if it’s phony.
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