There are an increasing number of scams today where criminals use counterfeit financial instruments, including checks and money orders, as part of the scheme. Many are mass-marketing schemes, including overpayment, lottery, and employment fraud. Scammers use sophisticated software, commercial laser printers and scanners, and blank check stock to produce the fake checks and money orders. The counterfeit documents lack security features, but many are close enough to look legitimate and fool unwitting consumers and bank personnel.
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. You can always tell if a postal money order is real. Watermarks of Benjamin Franklin, visible when held to the light, run through the white oval on the left front side of the money order. Counterfeit ones can’t duplicate a watermark. Also a dark security thread runs from top to bottom to the right of the Franklin watermark. Verify those security features to make sure you don’t get scammed.