MoneyGram Money Orders
MoneyGram Money Order: A Word of Caution
If you don't have access to the internet, transferring money gets physical and more complicated, but money orders are one of your best options. When using a money order, you have to use that old fashioned snail mail via the United States Postal Service and a real envelope, stamp, and pen. Remember those? I didn't...until a few days ago, when I had to use snail mail to send a money order.
I had a terrible experience with a MoneyGram Money Order, so this is a word of caution to all. Before you purchase this type of money order, you must first ask if the person you're sending the money order to has a bank account.
I was trying to help someone out financially and was not aware that she did not have a bank account and no access to the internet until after I had purchased the MoneyGram. She could not cash the MoneyGram anywhere and did not have a bank account to deposit it in. This messed with my mind terribly because I just assumed everyone had a bank account, even if nothing was in it. After all I that I went through, it just didn't dawn on me that I could have just as well have purchased a pre-paid card and used USPS to send it to her.
I cannot express this enough: don't buy a MoneyGram Money Order unless the receiver has a bank account. However, if you purchase one from Wal-Mart or another reputable merchant, that merchant will cash the money order. However, Wal-Mart will only cash this type money order if it is purchased from them. They will not cash a MoneyGram Money Order from another merchant.
The MoneyGram Money Order (Sample)
Check USP Money Orders Before Depositing
If you receive a USP money order, verify that it is legit by calling the money order verification system at 866-459-7822. If you suspect fraud, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 (follow the prompts).
People trust the U.S. Postal Service and the security provided by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Consumers often believe, incorrectly, that postal money orders and cashier's checks are good if they're cashed by a bank and are not subject to recourse. This is not true. Just because you can withdraw money deposited from it does not mean it is good.
Federal law requires banks to make the funds you deposit available quickly, but it's important for you to know that just because you can withdraw the money doesn't mean the check is good. Banks often release funds from a cashier's check or money order before it clears.
Most counterfeits originate overseas. They're produced by an off-set printing process, which creates a document with an authentic appearance. However, scammers can't replicate the security features of genuine postal money orders.
Security Features of Postal Money Orders
Postal money orders are designed with colored inks, watermarks, and security threads. Become familiar with the security features of genuine postal money orders:
- Watermarks of Benjamin Franklin, visible when held to the light, run through the white oval on the left front side of the money order. Watermarks are also visible from the reverse side.
- A dark security thread runs from top to bottom to the right of the Franklin watermarks. When held to the light, the thread reveals the microprinted letters "USPS" alternating right-side up and upside down throughout the thread. The letters are not visible if not held to the light.
Additional features you should be aware of:
- Warning instructions are printed on the reverse of postal money orders.
- Denominations are displayed in two locations, on the front, with no discoloration around the dollar amounts (discoloration may indicate alteration).
- Maximum value of $1,000 on domestic or $700 on international postal money orders.
Check Your Money Order
Points to Remember
1. Only purchase a money order In a store that will buy it back.
2. Make sure the receiver has a bank account.
3. Buy money orders at Wal-Mart or the United States Postal Service (Post Office) and don't worry about the first two points.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.