I was recently scammed by someone claiming to be from a work-from-home company. She sent me a check that I was supposed to use to pay the "vendor" for my work supplies. I deposited the check and once it cleared (but was apparently not yet verified) I did a cash transfer to "vendor's" bank. Is there any way for me to get my money back? If so, should I talk to my bank, the "vendor's" bank, or the bank that the fraudulent check came from?

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    Unfortunately, that is indeed a fairly common scam these days. Be extremely suspicious any time someone tells you that you're supposed to deposit a check and use part of it to pay someone else. Legitimate businesses don't do that.
    – keshlam
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 8:19
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    YOU are responsible. Not any of the banks. And, of course, the person scamming you has also committed a criminal act, but it's highly unlikely you'll be able to find them. Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 12:58
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    Btw, some of the work-at-home schemes have started collecting data for identity fraud as well. Watch your accounts, consider putging a hold on you credit, and consider getting your tax regurn in as early as possible to minimize that risk.
    – keshlam
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 14:55

3 Answers 3


Is there any way for me to get my money bank?

It would be a long drawn process. You would have to file a fraud complaint, they should be able to catch the imposter and / or get a freeze on the account you did wire transfer on [even courts would be involved in process] ... could take lot of time and money. Depending on the amount it may or may not be worth it.

If so, should I talk to my bank

Your Bank will not take any liability. From their point of view, you deposited a check, they sent it get cleared and reversed the transaction moment they realized it was fraud.

the "vendor's" bank

You could talk to Vendor Bank. However as you have no relationship with them, they may or may not co-operate. If its a large institution they may do their own internal investigations. If you act sooner, they maybe able to place a hold on the account. Often this is a parking account and the funds are moved elsewhere. They will not be able to refund the funds unless the legal system / process is involved.

bank that the fraudulent check came from

Depending on how the check was made ... the Bank can easily claim that someone printed something with their Bank's name on it and they are not responsible for it. If there are large cases, the Bank may to contain reputational damage may lodge a complaint with Police and put out some advertisement.

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    A lot of your answer seems to assume that the person sending the fraudulent check has or had sufficient funds in the vendor bank to cover the check. Most likely this is not true and there are no funds to "recover" making any attempts to recover the funds futile.
    – Eric
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 19:24

The spending is not related to the check

The whole concept of "spending a fraudulent check" is misleading. Both in practice and legally there are two separate transactions - you (not) receiving funds by depositing a fraudulent check, and you sending a cash transfer further on.

Regarding the fraudulent check, generally your bank is 'responsible' in the sense that it's their responsibility to recover the money from you - it will not receive any money from the bank that supposedly issued the fake check, and if they give it to you, you spend all that money and are unable to pay it back, that's their problem and not of the other institutions.

Regarding the cash transfer, from the bank point of view it's solely your responsibility - it was really you who made that payment, you explicitly authorised/instructed the banks to deliver money to the recipient, and none of those banks have the duty to return it. You have been defrauded by the recipient of this payment, and may attempt to recover the money from the fraudster - but that's not particularly likely to happen even in the case of a successful arrest and conviction.

Very fast reaction with involvement of police may block the "vendor's" account before they are able to withdraw the money. If that is the case, you might be able to recover your money or part of it.


You should talk to your bank and explain what happened. Your bank may contact vendor bank to discuss the account, but really that is up to them.

Then you should contact your police department and report the fraud.

Realistically, your chances of recovering any money is negligible. I think your best chance is convincing your bank to work with vendor bank on a reversal(if it was a domestic transfer), although it is more likely that the vendor bank account is already empty and closed.

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