Legal Question in Banking Law in Florida

Law Guru,

I received a $5,000 payroll check in the mail from a company I have never heard of. It showed up via fedex, addressed properly to me. It seemed suspect, so I called the issuing bank to verify the account was real and the funds were available. The bank informed me that this was in fact a valid account and the funds were there. I'm still a little skeptical to be honest though. If something is too good to be true, it usually is, right? So, although the check feels and appears real, watermark intact and the bank has verified it's authenticity over the phone, I've read plenty of horror stories about things like this and I don't want to end up paying a fine or worse in jail. I've read about these scams and usually there are instructions or something else enclosed in the envelope for paying the sender back. It doesn't make much sense but this is NOT my case. I have received nothing aside from the check. I've read about other cases, where the scammer is only trying to get you to cash the check, so they can steal your bank info when the check is returned. For that reason, I would never even consider depositing it in my account and risk them stopping payment. However, I could probably avoid that altogether by just cashing it at the issuing institution. So, could this really be a gift from above? Or a pay it forward kind of thing? One could only hope. My question to you, Law Guru, is, if I attempted to walk in and cash this check at the issuing institution, could I be escorted out in handcuffs? Even though it's made out to me and appears to be valid, am I committing a crime by even trying to cash it? Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Q

Asked on 10/07/13, 11:53 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

R. Jason de Groot R. Jason de Groot, P.A.

We would need to see the check and any other documents that came with it. Who knows what the possibilities are? It does seem like some sort of scam to me.

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Answered on 10/10/13, 9:02 am

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