“Check” The Date

, , , , | Right | April 3, 2019

(We have recently been reminded of the importance of following check-cashing rules, as one branch in the next county took a huge loss for cashing a large stolen check. A customer walks in.)

Customer: “Hi. I’d like to cash this.”

(I notice that the check is post-dated for the next week. We are not allowed to cash these until the date written on the check.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but this check is dated for next week.”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “[Bank] regulations state that I can’t cash a check that is dated in the future. I would suggest going back to the person who wrote you the check and seeing if they can get you a new one. Or, you can hold onto it until next week.”

Customer: “Why can’t I just change the date? I’ll do that right now!”

Me: “Um, sir, you actually can’t do that. It’s against federal—“

(Before I can stop him, he starts scribbling out the date and writing in a new one. The check is now considered an “altered check,” and cashing it would go against federal bank regulations. I could get fired for cashing it.)

Customer: *proudly* “THERE! Fixed!”

Me: “I still can’t cash it.”

Customer: “Why the h*** not?!”

Me: “As I was trying to explain, you can’t change any information on a check you haven’t written. It’s now an altered check, and per federal regulations, we can’t accept it. Whoever cashes it could get fired. I have to tell you to go get a new check now.”

Customer: “What if I go to another branch and find someone else to do it? HUH? What then?”

Me: “Then you could get another teller in trouble, sir. Please don’t—“

(The customer runs out the door, shouting that he’s going to go to another branch, and I’ll never guess which one. I sigh, pick up the phone, and call the manager at the only other branch in the area.)

Me: “Hey, [Customer] is coming your way with an altered check. I saw him do it. I told him he had to get a new check, but he ran out of here shouting that he was going to go to another branch…”

Manager: “Oh, we know him. I’ll have a chat with him when he gets here. Thanks!”

(They made him go get a new check. He was shocked that they knew what was happening when he showed up.)

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