United States Postal Service
Money Order Inquiry Resources
Money Order Inquiry System - Tips

Tips you should know about Money Orders

  • Require Photo Identification.
  • Have money order signed in presence.
  • Record number and expiration date of photo identification.
  • Record type and expiration date (if applicable) of other ID.
  • Compare signature with signature on ID. If signatures, do not match, do not accept the postal money order.
  • Upon receiving postal money orders from customers, compare them with the latest postal bulletin list of Missing, Lost, or Stolen U.S. Money Order Forms.
  • Hold the postal money order up to the light and note Benjamin Franklin watermark and the Postal Service security thread. If you cannot see the watermark or security thread, you may have a counterfeit money order.
  • Look at the physical appearance of the money order. Does the paper appear to be worn and/or an odd or unusual color?
  • Check all areas of the dollar amount to check for accuracy and signs of tampering. Remember that POS money orders also have a dollar value text line that spells out the dollar amount.
  • In some cases, the color of the money order paper under the dollar amount area will be unnaturally shaded, showing signs of erasure or tampering. Crayons and chalk have been used to restore color in some altered money orders. Criminals will also raise the amount of the money order by cutting and pasting. This can sometimes be seen by holding the document up to the light.
  • Do not cash if the money order appears on the missing money order list or if there are signs of alteration or counterfeiting. Do not put yourself in harms way. If possible, obtain as much information as you can. Notify postal inspectors and/or the local police immediately.