Using money orders to pay bills or to purchase items is as safe as using a check, as long as you keep the receipt and the tracking or serial number. Tracing a money order tends to be more cumbersome than tracing a check, however. All companies charge a fee to do so, and most require you to fill out paper forms. Additionally, companies that issue money orders typically require at least 30 days before they begin a trace. They want to wait a reasonable amount of time before refunding a lost or stolen money order.
Look at your receipt and determine where you purchased the money order. If it was from the United States Postal Service, go to any post office to begin the trace. Fill out form 6401 which you can obtain from the clerk, and pay the $5.20 tracking fee.
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Determine if you purchased the money order from Western Union rather than the post office. The website for Western Union has an area where you can download forms for tracing, including a form that applies if you lost the money order serial number. Western Union requires $15 to trace a money order.
Check to see if you purchased the money order from a bank. If so, visit the bank for the appropriate form to track the money order. Bank fees vary. Citizens Financial Bank, for instance, charges $8 to trace or to refund a lost or stolen money order.
Determine if you bought the money order from Wal-Mart or another retail store. These companies typically require a serial number for tracing. Visit the nearest store and fill out any pertinent forms and pay the fee required.