What do I do if someone gave me checks that were fake?

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What do I do if someone gave me checks that were fake?

Someone who I don’t really know, asked me if I can cash 2 checks for her

because she lost her wallet and couldn’t do it herself. Stupidly, I helped her

out, because she had told me that she needed the money right away in order to pay

some bills. She had said that she could also pay me some money if I helped her

out, but after I helped her, she said she’d give me the money the next day, I

never heard back from her, so I never got the money. I ended up getting 2 letters

from my bank, letting me know that the checks I had cashed were insufficient, and

in other words, I need to pay that money back. What should I do?

Asked on February 29, 2016 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) You have to pay the bank: you cost the bank money by cashing checks that failed, and the bank paid out money to or for you without getting the money in it was supposed to. You are liable to the bank for the funds, and if you don't pay, they could sue you.
2) You can sue this person to recover all amounts you pay or costs you incur. Of course, if she doesn't have any money to pay, that may not help: you could sue her, win, and still not get anything, because a court judgment in your favor does not make money appear where there is none.
3) If you think she knowingly did this, passing bad checks intentionally is a crime: you could also look to press charges.


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