Asked For A Favor? Don’t Do It!
We all have had family and/or friends ask for favors related to money. They ask because they know that you are responsible with your money. Or at least you have more money than they do. One of the most common favors is to ask to borrow money…with a promise of quick repayment. You decide whether or not to do it based on your relationship with them or their repayment history. You might have a soft spot in your heart and lend them money, even if they still owe you money from the last time they asked for the favor. You may give in to this request for a favor. However, there is one favor related to money that you should never grant!
If a family member or friend or enemy or anyone asks you to deposit a check into your account for them because they don’t have a checking or savings account, don’t do it! Even if they tell you that they will pay you a portion of the proceeds from the check, don’t do it! They might even tell you that it is completely safe and you can’t lose any money because the bank won’t make the money available until it is cleared. Don’t do it! I have seen this happen several times during my years in Retail Banking. It amounts to bank fraud and someone is going to lose. Either the bank or you! It is most likely not going to be the bank.
Why am I so adamant about saying “don’t do it!”? I’m glad you asked. This is usually what happens. The check is signed over to you. Then you deposit the check into your account. If you have a good banking relationship, the proceeds from the check may become available in three business days or less, even though the check has not technically cleared. Then you withdraw the funds and give them to your family member or friend. When the check actually clears, the bank realizes it is bogus and wants you to cover the funds you withdrew. The bank deducts the amount from your account, whether or not you have the funds in your account. If you don’t have the funds available in your account, then this will leave you with a negative, overdrawn balance.
You may wonder if and how this can happen in this age of electronic banking. As long as paper checks are still available, there will be people who will continue to try to scam others with them. It’s okay to have a soft spot in your heart for others. It’s also important to balance that soft spot with wisdom and knowledge. Your family member or friend may seem desperate but it’s okay to say no. You did not put them in that desperate situation, and you don’t have to be the one to get them out of it. It might seem harsh but saying no might actually help to save your your bank account, your money, and your relationships with family and friends. Don’t do it! All the best.
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