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Things That Make Cents

Not Worth the Paper It's Not Printed On

We share these true stories of member experiences to help you avoid falling victim to a scam. If you ever have questions about the validity of a request for money or information about your account, contact us.

After upgrading to a new mobile phone, Ruth decided to sell her old one online. She heard quickly from a man in Missouri who wanted the phone for his teenaged daughter...

The man explained he was having trouble with his PayPal account, and asked if he could email her a check instead. It seemed strange, but the man assured Ruth he had done business this way many times before without trouble. All she had to do was take a photo of the emailed photo of the check, submit it through her banking mobile app, and it would be ok. Ruth decided to give it a try.
When the email arrived, it included a photo of a check payable to Ruth for the correct amount. She used the credit union’s mobile app to take a photo of the emailed check, and deposited the funds to her account. She saw the deposit reflected in her account, and shipped the phone.

Sadly for Ruth, the transaction was illegitimate. Her deposit was reversed, and she received no money for her phone.

When selling items online:

  • Insist on using reputable services designed to protect you.  
  • Beware of unconventional payment methods proposed by strangers. 
  • Remember that the mobile deposit feature within the mobile app is for paper checks only. 

If ever in doubt, contact us for help. You can also visit our Security page for more tips.