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Can you get scammed on a money order?

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Can you get scammed on a money order?

Old 01-18-06, 07:24 PM
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Can you get scammed on a money order?

If someone pays you with a postal money order is there a way they could scam you?

I heard that sometimes the bank will take a counterfit check but notify you weeks later that the check was bad after you already spent the money. Could that happen with a money order?
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Old 01-18-06, 07:29 PM
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Unless they are very adept counterfeiters, a U.S. Postal money order is good as gold.
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Old 01-18-06, 07:35 PM
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Old 01-18-06, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by LSPlo
If someone pays you with a postal money order is there a way they could scam you?

I heard that sometimes the bank will take a counterfit check but notify you weeks later that the check was bad after you already spent the money. Could that happen with a money order?
There's a scam right now being run that victimized a couple of people in Hawaii. A guy selling guitars on Craiglist received payment (US Postal Money Order) on 2 guitars which he priced at $500/guitar. Right after he received the payment, he got a call from the buyer informing him that they changed their mind and only wanted to buy 1 guitar. So the seller sent the buyer 1 guitar and a personal check for $500. He found out 1 week later that the money order was a fraud and the bank deducted the $1,000 from his account. His check that he sent to the buyer had already been cashed.
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Old 01-18-06, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by blandin
Unless they are very adept counterfeiters, a U.S. Postal money order is good as gold.
True, but since there are very adept counterfeiters, there are a lot of counterfeit MO's which is why they are going through a re-design. It pays to pay attention.
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Old 01-18-06, 10:14 PM
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Like checks, money orders can and are counterfeited.
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Old 01-18-06, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by LSPlo
If someone pays you with a postal money order is there a way they could scam you?

I heard that sometimes the bank will take a counterfit check but notify you weeks later that the check was bad after you already spent the money. Could that happen with a money order?
Take the MO to a post office and cash it. Once you get the cash, any scam is the post office's problem.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99
Take the MO to a post office and cash it. Once you get the cash, any scam is the post office's problem.
I never thought of that, but it sure makes sense. After all, when you purchase something on ebay using a personal check, they make you wait until it clears. So you could do the same thing with a postal MO, but if this was an ebay listing, you would have to state Postal Money Orders only.
I always used Western Union MOs because they were cheaper, but you can't take them to the post office to cash.
But that's a great point.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:03 PM
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Most of the MO money order scams are Western Union/Ebay deals.

So yes, you sure can.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
Most of the MO money order scams are Western Union/Ebay deals.

So yes, you sure can.
Western Union and USPS have been counterfeited of late. Paypal offers some security. So for a few $, and a few mins you can insure yourself so to speak.

you can just follow these instructions:

https://cincinnati.craigslist.org/about/scams.html
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Old 01-18-06, 11:22 PM
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Yeah. Someone can pay you via a money order, then make a claim with the currency exchange that it was stolen and get their money back. Then they disappear and you don't get paid.

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Old 01-19-06, 12:24 AM
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yes, happened to me first hand on craigslist.
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Old 01-19-06, 12:57 AM
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Old 01-19-06, 03:51 AM
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Yes there are bogus postal money orders.. You can cash all postal money orders at your local post office.. They have a book that lists the serial# of bad money orders.. If the money order is good, they will hand you the cash.. Just go to the post office and cash them before sending any goods..
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Old 01-19-06, 03:54 AM
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I've gotten a bogus money-order. With color printers nowadays, you can scan a money order and print out an exact copy. The one I had was modified with a bogus serial# and account#, even though it looked exactly like a US-Postal MO.
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Old 01-19-06, 07:11 AM
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Cash talks, B.S. walks
Anything, ANYTHING, which sounds way too good usually isn't

I ALWAYS get cash before they get the goods. Like it or leave it
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Old 01-19-06, 08:42 AM
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My company gets paid for items via money orders and certified bank (cashier's) checks. We receive fake ones all the time. Some of them are pretty good.

The only way to be sure of what you are receiving is to take it to your bank or post office, find the person there who knows what they are looking at - typically the manager because they receive training about how to identify fakes - and get them to approve the authenticity at the time that you present it.
With that done, then you can typically ship.

With Postal Money orders there is also guidance about their security features, what to look for, how to spot a fake, etc., on the USPS website. But yeah, your best bet on a US Postal money order is probably to present it and cash it at a Post Office.


In answer to your question though, here is how the Postal Regulations read:

14.4.2 Payment
The postmaster general has the usual right of a drawee to examine money orders presented for payment by banks through the Federal Reserve System and to refuse payment of money orders, and has a reasonable time after presentation to make each examination. Provisional credit is given to the Federal Reserve Bank when it furnishes the money orders for payment by the postmaster general. Money orders are deemed paid only after examination is completed, subject to the postmaster general's right to make reclamation under 14.4.

14.4.4 Reclamation
The postmaster general has the right to demand refund from the presenting bank of the amount of a paid money order if, after payment, the money order is found to be stolen, or to have a forged or unauthorized endorsement, or to contain any material defect or alteration not discovered on examination. Such right includes, but is not limited to, the right to make reclamation of the amount by which a genuine money order with a proper and authorized endorsement has been raised. Such right must be exercised within a reasonable time after the postmaster general discovers that the money order is stolen, bears a forged or unauthorized endorsement, or is otherwise defective. If refund is not made by the presenting bank within 60 days after demand, the postmaster general takes such actions as may be necessary to protect the interests of the United States.[/b]
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Old 01-19-06, 09:35 AM
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I am afraid about all types of payments can be scammed. A company I worked for recieved counterfited cashier checks, bank drafts & even a few travelrs checks. If you have reservations about the buyer, or i even if you don't, and you are not dealing with something like Paypal, wait before shipping.
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Old 01-19-06, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by johnny99
Take the MO to a post office and cash it. Once you get the cash, any scam is the post office's problem.
This is not true. MO scams can take up to a month to detect. The Post Office or Bank will get the money back from you. The best way to avoid this is to meet the person in person at thier bank and have them draw the money order/cash while you are present. Other then this, you are at risk. If it's a large purchase, I would not trade any other way.

Keep in mind just because a Bank or PO accepts the MO, they reserve the right to get the money back from you if the MO or other certified fund turns out to be fake. This can take up to a month.
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Old 01-19-06, 11:06 AM
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Isn't this why paypal was created? or can that be scammed as well?
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Old 01-19-06, 11:12 AM
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If you are worried about being scammed, insist on payment by U.S. Postal money orders. Buy only from folks with a long history of honest selling on E-Bay, or from people whose true name, address, and phone number you have independently verified.

Someone who is selling under their true name, and selling from their true address will not play games with U.S. Postal money orders. The government is ruthless in arresting and prosecuting folks who do so, and crooks understand that. No crook wants to spend a few years behind bars just to make a few bucks.
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Old 01-19-06, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dzaveski
Isn't this why paypal was created? or can that be scammed as well?


You can be scammed on PayPal as well, but there are more protections. I personally like to make sure that a Visa/MC is used. Visa and MC offer additional levels of protection especially if you are the buyer. PayPal Visa and MC all offer these protections because they make a lot of money with people using their service. Without offering these protections people would be more reluctant to use their items which would mean less spending and less profits for them.
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Old 01-19-06, 04:28 PM
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By the way, money orders aren't any better than a check. The only thing they offer above a check is that the no fake ones assure you that the money was actually there at the time it was created, unlike a check written on a bank account with a zero balance. We rent out properties and get MO's all the time. The day after a tenant once gave us one they put a stop on it. We held the property off the market for a couple of weeks they called and said that they didn't want it so we cashed the MO and found out that it had a stop on it and they got their money back the day they put the stop on it. They don't even have to have a reason to put a stop payment on it.
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Old 01-19-06, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bathel
The best way to avoid this is to meet the person in person at thier bank and have them draw the money order/cash while you are present. Other then this, you are at risk. If it's a large purchase, I would not trade any other way.
BE VERY CAREFUL with this method also, particularly if a large amount of cash is involved. It is very easy to get set up this way. It is much easier & safer to duke it out through a Paypal/Credit card resolution process rather than @ gun point. Even if you carry, the follow-up paper work & BS of a justified discharge that one has to put up with is not worth it.

Better to deal with verified people & slow the transaction down. Just my cautious $.02. Bob
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