When Using Travelers Cheque and Gift Cheques

Some advice from American Express on fraud prevention and safety when using travelers checks:

When Using Travelers Cheque and Gift Cheques

The most important thing to remember is that there is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check or money order and ask you to wire money anywhere in return.

If someone asks you to do that, be suspicious. Con artists use the anonymity of the Internet and e-mail to scam unsuspecting people. American Express can validate the authenticity of a Cheque quickly and anonymously.

You should contact American Express at 1-800-525-7641 if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • You are asked to accept Travelers Cheques or Gift Cheques but did not watch the Cheque holder countersign in the lower left-hand corner, or you are asked to accept a Cheque with no signatures.
  • You are asked to cash or accept a Gift Cheques in denominations of $500 or $1,000. The maximum denomination of an authentic Gift Cheque is $100, so any Gift Cheque with a denomination of more than $100 is a fake.
  • The Cheques are offered by someone you met online or from someone you know mostly through e-mail communications.
  • You receive the Cheques by mail.
  • You are asked to wire, send or ship funds from cashed Cheques, especially if the return address is a large U.S. city or another country.

T o find out more on information on check scams, visit www.fakechecks.org. The site is sponsored by the National Consumers League, the US Postal Service and American Express, along with other private, public and non-profit organizations, to educate Americans about the threat counterfeit check scams pose to their personal financial health.