I was given an account number and a route number from one of my friends and she said that I can walk into any bank and withdraw funds that she owes me. I don't have any bank account at all. So my question is can I go into a bank with identification and hand them the account number and route number to withdraw my funds even if it's not her bank?

  • What country are we talking about?
    – Dheer
    Apr 10 '15 at 9:26
  • Do you know this friend well? This has the odour of scam about it. Jul 4 '20 at 22:31

No, you cannot do that. You can't just debit someone because "he said so".

You'll need a document in writing, that would show the routing number, account number, the amount to withdraw and who is allowed to withdraw it. This document must be signed by the account owner and dated.

Usually, these documents are called "checks". But legally speaking, in most countries you can write this on any piece of paper and it would be valid.

But better use a standard check.

Once you have a check - you can cash/deposit it in any bank, that part is true.

  • that's not entirely true as some countries provide numbered bank accounts where a code word is used in lieu of a signature so if the person who owed you money were to give you that too you could withdraw money. I am guessing that OP isn't in that situation though!
    – MD-Tech
    Apr 10 '15 at 7:51
  • @MD-Tech never heard of it... Like a password? You whisper something to the teller? Sounds weird...:)
    – littleadv
    Apr 10 '15 at 7:56
  • I only know this from articles and books about dictators who had them in Switzerland 20+ years ago but yes it was essentially a password, see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbered_bank_account If you're signing for an account its not very anonymous if you think about it!
    – MD-Tech
    Apr 10 '15 at 8:04
  • That is only when you visit the specific Bank/Branch and NOT any bank which the OP is alluding to.
    – Dheer
    Apr 10 '15 at 9:28
  • @Dheer Legally speaking you can cash it in any bank, but most banks stopped doing it because it is very hard to verify that a check isn't fake. There's no difference between cashing and depositing, from legal perspective, but depositing allows putting hold on the money until the check is verified.
    – littleadv
    Apr 11 '15 at 4:24

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