How Can I Verify a United States Treasury Check?

To avoid fraud and the associated headaches, take a moment to verify the authenticity your U.S. Treasury check before depositing it into your account. Fake checks are out there, and if you deposit one and spend the funds, you are responsible for paying the money back even though you are a victim of the scam. U.S. Treasury checks have several security features and the Treasury offers an online verification process to help ensure your check is real.

...
Treasury checks are issued for many purposes, including tax returns.

Examine the check under a blacklight or ultraviolet light. Look for four lines of “FMS” sandwiched between seals on the sides.

Hold the check up to a standard light to read the watermark. The mark reads “U.S. Treasury” on the front and back of the check.

Turn the check over and look at the endorsement line. Hold the magnifying glass over the line to read the microprinted initials "USA" that form the line.

Apply a small amount of moisture to the black seal on the right of the Statue of Liberty. The security ink turns reddish when it gets wet.

Visit the U.S. Treasury verification Web page. Enter the routing number, check number and amount. Click enter and wait for verification. The U.S. Treasury notes that some checks may not come up in the verification system but the security features on the check are reliable.