I got an unexpected check from the US Treasury

Sally BrownleeApril 19, 2010

I received a check today that is pretty sizable (equal to about 3 weeks pay for me). The thing is I already got my refund for this year.

Also is says that it is void after 1 year and the date appears to be 12/08. (its confusing) I cannot find anything else that looks like a date.

Could this be some adjustment from my '08 taxes?

There is no letter with it.

The check looks good. It has a watermark, the envelope is from the US Treasury in Philadelphia...

I have tried to find a phone number to try to call, but no luck.

Should I cash it and hold on to it for a couple months?

Any ideas about how to go about confirming the validity?

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golfergrrl

Read the small print on the back where you endorse it.
It sounds like a scam of some sort. Don't cash it.
You'd never get a check without an accompanying letter.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:07PM
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gadgets

I would NOT cash that check without making 100% sure that it's not a scam. Maybe take it to your bank to see what they say.....ask at the post office. Call the IRS to see if they can help you. They would know if they sent you a check.

Shirley

Here is a link that might be useful: US Treasury ck security features

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:26PM
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brody_miasmom

You should definitely call the IRS. The toll free number is 800-829-1040.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:28PM
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granny2anb

That sounds like a scam to me. I'd call the toll free number listed above before I'd try to cash it.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:40PM
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joyfulguy

"1040" is a familiar number down there, isn't it?

o j

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:40PM
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cindyb_va

Salgal,
The attached link to the US Treasury will allow you to verify the check is legitimate. If you find that it is legit, I would still call to find out what the check is for...if it is for some sort of tax adjustment, you should have received a letter of explanation. Perhaps the letter was lost.

Hope this helps!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:54PM
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cindyb_va

For some reason the link is not working on my last post. Here is the link for the verification site. Try this one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link that hopefully works....

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:58PM
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trinitytx

Google US treasury check scam. It is not a good check.

Sorry!
Trin

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 7:00PM
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Sally Brownlee

Well, I followed the link the cindyb_va provided and it asked for the routing number, amount and ck number. This is the result
"Check No. 2*10-20*487** was issued for the amount entered. The cashing of this check does not guarantee that a reclamation or declination will not be processed upon further review of this item by the U.S. Treasury."
(I put the * in)
I Think I will still call the IRS, and ask at the bank before I do anything with it...Thanks Cindy for pointing me in the right direction!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 7:11PM
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brody_miasmom

Please do call the IRS before you make any decisions. The IRS does in fact send out checks without letters, the checks come from one place and the letters from another.

It is possible that someone used your name and SSN to file a bogus tax return which resulted in a large refund. Generally these scammers change your address so the check goes to an address they control, but sometimes the check goes to the real address. If this is the case, you need to get your tax account straightened out.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 7:15PM
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brody_miasmom

Did you move in the past year? You mentioned that you received your 09 tax refund. It is possible that the IRS tried to mail you the check in 08 (going by the date), but it was returned due to no forwarding address. When you filed your 09 return, they may have mailed the check to the new address.

There are a lot of possibilities, some legit some not. Please call.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 7:21PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Also is says that it is void after 1 year and the date appears to be 12/08.
I'm sure the bank will know if it is outdated or not and can maybe help you with it.

Sue

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 7:22PM
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linda_in_iowa

A couple of years ago I noticed that Soc. Sec. had direct deposit a check in my account for about double the amount of my monthly check. This was in addition to my monthly deposit. I transferred it to savings and just let it sit until I finally received a letter from Soc. Sec. telling me it was an adjustment from the previous year when I was working part time.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 7:31PM
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nicole__

I got one too. It said I had missed taking the "working" deduction, "M", line 63. DH & I each got $400. It was VERY unexpected! Since it wasn't a deduction to out gross income it didn't effect our state tax.

Does this sound like what YOU got?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 8:53PM
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nicole__

I forgot to mention....the letter explaining the check arrived seperately from the check. The letter I got arrived the day before.....yours got lost....?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 9:17PM
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bulldinkie

Is it a brown envelope?Sometimes my hubby gets checks for like too much taxes paid ,adjustments etc.They know what theyre doing would not just send a check out.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:24PM
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Sally Brownlee

It came in a white envelope, not brown like a normal refund, but the check looks right.
I did not move, but I did get divorced. That's another strange thing. On 08 return I filed single in my married name, in 09, single maiden name. The check is in my married name.
BUT I am not getting too worked up over it until I get some further confirmation.
I am glad that cindyb's information checked out...step 1.

I'll let you know how this all works out!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:36PM
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Kathsgrdn

Call the IRS, they sent me one too. I actually owed on my federal taxes this year so I called. They had deposited someone else's quarterly tax payments into my "account". Idiots. One person at the IRS told me I could cash it but I may have to pay it back if they ask for it later. I then asked to speak to someone else. They told me what happened. I made copies, typed a letter with it to make sure they understood exactly what I was told happened and voided the check in case it got intercepted on the way back to them.

They are so incompetent it's scary.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:06PM
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Sally Brownlee

Step 2: Call the IRS
It's good! I just hung up with them. After 3 phone calls, and about 40 minutes on hold...good news!
Apparently I forgot to claim my estimated withholdings in 2008.
YEA!
Now, what to do with found money?
Thanks everyone for the advice, links and phone numbers!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:23AM
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nicole_ont

Woohoo! That IS good news. Nothing like a hefty unexpected cheque!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:25AM
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monica_pa

They are so incompetent it's scary.

It was probably a keying error made by an inexperienced, quickly trained temp employee entering a paper return.
The IRS is trying to get people to file electronically.....it's a benefit to everyone - less mistakes, faster processing and saves the government the cost of hiring and training very short time temp employees.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:27AM
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cindyb_va

Salgal, glad you found out that the check was both legitimate and that the funds were actually due to you. Hope you find a good use to put the money towards!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:14AM
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hayjud_mn

Don't we all love a happy ending!

Now you get the fun of spending it / or saving it!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 12:53PM
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Sally Brownlee

one of my personal financial goals this year was to make an extra mortgage payment, so I think I will do that and get a storm door I have been wanting (plus I get a 30% tax credit on the door)
the rest, if there's much, will go in savings.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 1:42PM
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jannie

Did it have any indication of where it was from, like IRS or SSA (Social Security)? You could look in the phone book and call the agency. Or stick it in the bank and wait a few months. See if you get any letter either explaining it or asking for the money back. I used to work for Social Security (31 years) and sometimes the letters and the checks were delivered on different days. Sure gets you confused!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 6:55PM
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Cynic

Glad to hear it had a happy ending!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 1:10AM
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whitneyham81188_hotmail_com

I just got this same thing in the mail today....when I checked the check online it gave me the same message....I'm gonna call tomorrow to make sure I should cash it...I dont want to spend it and then have to pay it back!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 12:13AM
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kotkoda

I got the same thing today. Actually 2 checks for more than $700, evidently refunds from 2010 and 2012.
The problem is we are trying the call the IRS but all is automatic now and you can't actually talk to a living person! Anyone has any advice? We did check the authenticity of the checks using the link someone posted above, and they are indeed from the US Treasury.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 4:19PM
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Imhappy&Iknowit IOWA zone 6b

salgal, Don't make an extra payment, Apply it to principle. If you make an extra payment the interest still applies to the gross amount of your loan. If you make a payment to principle it comes off the gross amount and you only pay interest on the amount left, not the whole thing. I've paid off two houses and a furnace loan that way. Make certain your check and your instructions say "apply to principle". No point in giving them money you don't have to give them.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Shelgal

Why don't you visit the IRS office? There's usually an office in every major city. You can have an IRS official bring up your account and verify whether or not you are entitled to a refund. If it ia a scam, or if your SS has been used illegally you will know right away.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:28PM
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sleeperblues

Why are people posting to a thread that is 4 years old?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:59PM
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joyfulguy

Surprising that it's still around, as the most recent post was in 2011, as usually the posts get to the end of page 67 and fall over the cliff long before that, used to be after 3 - 4 months.

This place must have REALLY slowed down!

Decrepitude seeping in?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 6:25PM
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