I lost my paycheck. If somebody finds it will they be able to cash it?


4 Answers 4


They can't cash it legally.

When you make a deposit at an ATM, your deposit is provisional. When the machine gets serviced, the bank will look at the name on the check and verify that it matches the name on the account. If it does not, you will lose the money that you "deposited."

If you lost your paycheck, you need to tell your employer. Go to your boss or your company's Human Resources department and tell them. They will stop payment on the old check and issue you a new one. There might be a fee of a few dollars to stop payment and issue a new check.

  • 3
    Not only would the bank reject the deposit, but they might actually contact the police about an attempted fraud or theft. Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 10:01

It depends on the individual banks rules, and how the check was endorsed.

I have checking accounts at 2 different banks.

The first bank will NOT accept third party checks, and the second bank will.

I had a check that was written to someone else and they signed it over to me (a third party check).

At the time, I didn't know that Bank #1 won't accept third party checks for deposit. I believe they allowed it when I opened the account and at some point, they must have changed their policy regarding it.

In any case, I attempted to deposit the third party check using Bank #1's ATM. The ATM rejected the deposit and returned the check, with some generic non descriptive error message on the screen. I made several attempts, all with the same result.

I took the check to a bank person and asked about it and that's when I found out they don't accept (no longer accept) third party checks. Presumably, if the ATM had accepted the check, it could have been reversed later and returned to me in the mail if the ATM transaction was further reviewed.

I was able to deposit the (third party) check at my other bank, online, by scanning it with my printer/scanner attached to my PC. The deposit was successful and was successfully reviewed and approved. I've done it a few times and the last time was about a year ago and I've never had a problem about it.

So, for the person who might find your paycheck, if their bank will accept third party checks, they might be able to sign (forge) your signature (of course, that would be illegal), and then sign their own name and deposit it at their bank's ATM, or even the teller window.

If you notify your employer, then if this check is somehow processed before they have time to stop payment on the check, I'm sure they can make a claim to get the money returned. The bank that accepted the check will reverse the deposit and deduct the money from the account of the person who deposited the check. That person might (likely) also face criminal charges.


@AndrewLeach made it clear, and I second his motion. In reality, this is trying to cash a third party check, this results to fraud if check is greater than 500.00 than it's grand theft.

If it's stopped payment, don't sweat it. Get a new check from the issuer. Cancel the ATM, you're done. Bust life alert too incase that your ID/social was missing as well. Hope you find it, maybe it fell in the car?


For anyone else in this situation: notify Payroll/Accounting. Tell them you are 100% sure your check is lost, and you need to know what the next steps are. Most companies will take care of it once as a courtesy, but they may carefully review the circumstances if you make a habit of asking.

Can someone cash a check they found? It has happened before. There are a few different things that could happen in a situation like that. The best version is Payroll/Accounting confirms the check is outstanding (not cashed), is able to cancel the prior check and reissue.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .