Bogus advance rent cheques

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This is where a cheque is sent to a landlord or letting agency (although it is most often an agency) ostensibly to pay for rent in advance for a letting, and the agency is then put under pressure to cash the cheque and pay out against it before it has cleared. However the cheque is forged and does not clear. The agency is left out of pocket, as the bank will probably not re-imburse the loss.

Warning signs are:

  • Cheques for amounts larger than are actually needed
  • No, or few, contact details provided
  • Cheques sent in envelopes with no postmark, and no proper covering letter
  • ‘Urgent’ demands for payments to be made before the cheque could have cleared
  • Cheques apparently from large organisations where no invoices or purchase orders have been issued

Moral:

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Never pay out against cheques unless they have cleared.

 

 

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