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Using Banks and Bank Accounts/Money Order Theft - Ease of Use?

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Question
Hi,
I never used money orders until just recently. About a month ago I had some cash that I wanted to put toward my credit card. There is a post office within walking distance of my job, so at lunch I walked over and purchased a money order, filled it out, dropped it in an envelope with my credit card remittance stub and mailed it. It worked great. My credit card account reflected the payment literally two days after I mailed the money order.

So last week I did the same thing. This time with a little more money. I bought the money orders at the post office counter, filled them out in full, put them in an envelope with the stub and handed the sealed envelope to the postal worker behind the counter. It has now been a week and my credit card company has not received the payment. I called and they don't have any record of receiving this new payment. I know there is a chance that maybe it is just taking longer, but my gut tells me that someone at the post office knew there were valuable money orders in my envelope and swiped it.

I have been searching online for details about money order safety, and have come across several stories of stolen money orders that are easily cashed by crooks who don't even need to show ID when they go to their bank or check cashing service. So my question is just how easy is it for a crook to cash in on a stolen money order? We all know that checks are extremely secure, and up until now I thought money orders had the same security features. But from what I'm reading they are pretty easily stolen and used.

I still have the receipts from the money orders and I plan to file an inquiry next week (assuming the payment doesn't show up). What are my chances of getting my money back? The orders were filled out to my credit card bank name, just like the instructions said. I'm also worried that the thief now has my credit card number since it was on the remittance stub, and my home address where they might think there is more cash where that came from. So I'm worried and upset.

Any thoughts, insight or advice appreciated.
Thanks
TJ

Answer
Hi TJ,

For the future hope you use confirmation of delivery or tracking numbers especially if you are using USPS, you can also pay your credit cards online with a touch of a button from your bank account (If you have one.)

Unfortunately if you purchased the money order I don't know the set guidelines the USPS uses on tracking the money order.  If you purchased it from a bank then you would be able to track it, see if it was cashed or even put a stop on it because banks issue them from general ledger accounts.

If it was made out to the credit card name, chances are someone can not cash or deposit it and in their account, unless they know someone who works at the bank and doing this illegally...in that case it's considered fraud and a federal offense.  I suggest you go to the post office and ask them to track it because you bought it from them, they can pull up a picture of the money order and see which bank it was deposited into and account number. Let them know you are going to the police to do a police report as well, I hope you can utilize all of these options.

Good Luck

Using Banks and Bank Accounts

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George

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Anything pertaining to Commercial or Retail Banking. Including, Interest rates, Lending, as well as Prime Rate questions. Also can help with online banking questions including all regulations.

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Retail and Commercial banking since 2002. Currently employed as an Assistant Vice President at a Commercial Bank.

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Chamber Of Commerce, National Notary Association

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Extensive credit knowledge.

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