Does this cheque look real? Yes, that’s because it is real! It came to me in some junk mail (advertising) recently. “Free” money in the mail! You’ve probably heard of banks mailing out pre-approved credit cards, without your application and without your signature. The credit cards are already activated… you just need to start using them. That’s still not so bad because you know to properly discard the plastic cards.
But how about a cheque? It is a piece of paper afterall. I have known myself to discard junk mail straight into the bin before, even without opening the envelope. If I did not open the envelope, I wouldn’t even know there was a cheque inside! Had I not been careful with this, the cheque would have been junked into the bin. If someone had picked it up, they could use it! I know, I know, the cheque crossed A/C Payee Only. What if you had a common name, and someone with the same name picks it up?
Alright, still the odds are not that good for anyone picking up a cheque to coincidentally have the same name. So probably that’s why banks think it is safe to mail out “free” cheques
However, I find this practice uncomfortable. What do you think? For a start, I think we clearly need to be more careful about discarding junk mail.