Question: How long does it take for a check to clear?
Answer: At least 5-14 calendar days even with Check 21 electronic clearing.
Criminals take advantage of the lengthy check-clearing process to steal your money. They do it by issuing counterfeit checks and requesting recipients to wire or Western Union money elsewhere as part of a phony deal. Recent schemes include the following:
Victims are led to believe they have won a prize, have an inheritance, or are doing legitimate service for an online contact. They receive a counterfeit check with instructions to wire part of the proceeds elsewhere for a mystery shopper test, to pay taxes or fees, or help an online "friend".
Victims forget about the fraud potential. They usually deposit the check and then send money somewhere by wire or Western Union. Federal regulations inadvertently assist criminals because banks are required to make funds available to the depositor before a check has really cleared. This provisional credit is usually the money that victims send to the criminals by MoneyGram™ or by wire.
Recall that a check clears slowly (5-14 days). A wire or MoneyGram, however, moves quickly (instantaneously). Therefore, victims take a big financial risk if they send money based upon a check that has not really cleared. If a deposited check is returned, the depositor is legally responsible for repaying the bank.
Please report to your bank any deal where you are asked or are expected to transmit money by wire or Western Union. This is especially important if you have not physically met the people you are dealing with.
Bank customers have lost thousands of dollars because they wired funds somewhere before they realized a check they received was counterfeit. Remember: Slow Check + Fast Wire = Fraud. Here are just a few of the schemes:
Work-at-home note: If the job involves processing money transfers or checks, it is really theft disguised as a job. People who think they are “investing” send you money (either checks or money transfer). You then wire the money elsewhere, usually out of the country, before the senders figure out they have been scammed. You get a percentage and a possible police record when it’s all over. What a wonderful job!
The best defense is to remain invisible. If you are concerned about the threat of banking malware, get a separate computer for online banking and use it for that purpose only. Do not use it for any type of E-mail (including web mail like Gmail). Do not use it for browsing. Ban your kids from it. Don’t plug memory sticks into it. Most malware is delivered via E-mail, or infected web-sites or device. If you don’t do those things, your computer is unlikely to become infected.
Ebay and PayPal are constantly preyed upon by cyber-criminals who utilize state-of-the-art phishing methods. If you sell goods on Ebay or use PayPal, please do your homework to understand the methods criminals employ to steal your passwords and gain access to your account.
The moral of the story: Be careful what you click!
SBSU does not notify customers via E-mail about password resets. If you need to reset your password, we’ll ask you to do it after you have logged into our Internet Banking site, not via an E-mail message.
If you get a message requesting that you reset your password, it is not from us. Moreover, links that are always inside such messages will take your web browser to a sinister portal that is designed to harvest your "old" and "new" password information while you reset them. The scam works only if you click on the link planted in the fake E-mail.Protection Points:
Criminals are using hi-tech trickery to get you to reveal your credit/debit card information. They use fake E-mail, text messages and plain old phone calls with startling messages to get your attention, much like the following:
Recognition is the Key: You are being phished if the message (in whatever form) leads you to reveal your entire credit/debit card numbers, expiration date and/or PIN. Don’t do it! The only time you should reveal that information is to complete a transaction which you have initiated.
Clicking on a Link: E-mail may contain a link that activates malware when clicked. It could be very dangerous to click on a link to “learn more” about your disabled ATM card, or recent order that you really didn’t order. The malware is getting more sophisticated. Be careful what you click.
What happens if you reveal information? Criminals go on a spending spree with your card numbers.
If you have revealed information: Click this link for important phone numbers (Emergency Phone Numbers). Call immediately to disable your card.
Report suspected phishing: Any message that coaxes you to reveal your entire card number, expiration date and/or PIN is criminal. Report suspicious messages as follows:
Do not click on links. Do not reveal your card information. Browsers and web-enabled cell-phones may be vulnerable to malicious code placed on phishing web-sites.
Legitimate fraud detection phone numbers: State Bank’s card processor places automated calls when transactions fall outside expected norms. A message may be left for you to call one of the phone numbers listed here. When you return the call, we will ask for part of your card number or the last four digits of your SSN to correctly identify you. We will never ask for your entire card number (we already know it).
Emergency phone numbers: If you need to contact us about a lost or stolen card during or after business hours.