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Non-Negotiable MEANS Non-Negotiable!

A young man appeared on "Good Morning, America" recently with an interesting story.

He had received an ad through the mail that assured him that if he was a "winner" he would receive a check, just like the one enclosed, for $95,000. The check enclosed, of course, was marked "Non-Negotiable", but other than those words, it looked like a real check, made payable to him.

"Just on a whim," he said, "I deposited it into my account through my ATM, and darn if they didn't credit my account with $95,000. I never thought that would happen!"

It took the financial institution several weeks to realize what had happened, and by that time he had removed the money "for safekeeping." There is now a legal battle going on so the money can be recovered. He will probably be charged with unjust enrichment and check fraud, though he says he is innocent of that as he "never thought they would really credit my account with it."

You know, by looking at your "junk" mail, that you get a couple of these "checks" every month. The problem now is the publicity given to this case will lead to "copy-cat" cases…others who will try the same thing.

Be sure to take a good look at those checks being deposited. If it says "Non-Negotiable" it means just that!

Copyright © 1995 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 5, No. 12, 8/95

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