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Money habits that are illegal

Updated on August 5, 2010

Financial crimes may seem like a far cry from your everyday life, but think again. Things such as forgery and loan fraud are just a few things that you could be doing on a daily basis that are illegal and you don't even know it. And the quotes "everybody's doing it" or "I was just being helpful" doesn't get you out of hot water should you get caught. And though the odds of you getting caught might seem slim in fact even minute, it's still illegal.

So even if you think it's ok, it probably isn't. And here are some things that you might not know, that are in fact illegal, when it comes to your every day money habits......

Singing a name to a check

 This is considered forgery. Plan and simple. Even if you are married to the other person or a relative. For example.....

You and your spouse have joint and separate checking accounts, on accident you go to the grocery and have grabbed his personal account check book, oops mistake. But you sign his name to the check anyway and go about your day. What you did is in fact illegal. You are a forger. Yes, a forger. Just because you are married doesn't give you the right legally to sign his name to that check.

Or another example, say your elderly mother is unable to go about her usual routine and you run to the store for her. You have her checkbook and you write out a check and sign her name. Unless you are actually her power of attorney (which your name will also be on those checks if you are) what you did is forgery.

So think again when signing that check.........getting caught doing this could result in hefty fines and even jail time.

Loan Application fraud

 When applying for that mortgage or wanting to refinance, people tend to inflate their incomes just a tad. Or even go as far as trying to hide personal debts. All because they want that "yes" answer from lenders.

But applicants beware. Lenders do check on the information that you provide to them on that home loan. And when you do things like "inflate" your income or hide that debt you are actually committing loan fraud.

Everyone goes through difficult financial periods. So it's better to just be honest and up front in the beginning, because chances are the lenders are going to find out anyway. And their could be consequences to that little "fudge"

Bad check writing

 Yes you should know that writing a check and knowing that the money isn't there to cover it is illegal. And many banks even offer overdraft protection. And though most people don't get prosecuted for writing bad checks, it's still illegal.

But should it come down to you getting in trouble, there are criminal penalties involved. You can also have your name put on a list of bad check writers. Meaning that places will stop taking your checks, and you may have trouble in the future with banks and lenders because you have been labeled as a fraudster.

So the next time you may "think" the money is there, it's probably a good idea to check with the bank before spending what you might not have.

Monetary defacing

 Let's face it, our U.S. currency isn't made to be put through your washer and dryer, chewed on by the family pet or even doodled on when you're bored. Even though it can be accidental damage or pure boredom, it's still illegal. Though an accidental defacement of the currency isn't illegal, deliberate is. Any action that mutilates, cuts, perforates, glues together or defaces U.S. currency that renders it unusable is illegal. Even writing on it is illegal.


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    • Sunnyglitter profile image


      8 years ago from Cyberspace

      I had no idea that some of these things were illegal!

    • Michael Jay profile image

      Michael Jay 

      8 years ago

      Great hub, gqgirl! Thank you very much for sharing this informative hub.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      This one time I was like out of paper and I had to take down some notes so I like grabbed $1 bill out of my wallet and started scribbling. A few seconds later a SWAT team came down from the roof and they tased me and sprayed me with mace!! It was horrible I tell ya!!!


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