written by: Summer Banks•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 6/4/2009
Not every person has a checking account or a debit card. For people who wish to deal only in cash, the money order is the safest option. Once you send out that money order, how can you tell if the "order" has been cashed?
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Tracking a money order online is relatively easy if you understand the necessity of keeping the receipt tab once attached to the money order. This tab retains the money order number needed to track down the status of a money order. Without the receipt stub, there is no way to ever find out whether or not the money order has been cashed. Money orders are not the same as wiring money. Wire transfers are much easier to track.
There are two ways to track money orders online and offline. These depend on the source of the original money order. If the order was printed at a retail store or the post office, the stub will need to be taken to the location where the serial number will be researched. When the money order is cashed, the serial number is reported as fulfilled. Some retailers and the USPS will charge a nominal fee for a report verifying the money order has been cashed.
If the money order was purchased from Western Union or a similar company, the money order serial number could be researched online. In this case, the purchaser will need to visit the official website, like WesternUnion.com, and enter in the serial number into the appropriate field. These searches are usually free, but some companies may charge for an official report stating the money order has been fulfilled and any details about the transaction that are not privacy protected.
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What Happens to the Money Order if it is Not Cashed?
If the money order is not cashed, a stop payment can be placed on the order. It is important to complete all paperwork including name, address and contact phone number when the money order is printed. This will give the retailer all the information they need to stop the payment on the order. There may be a nominal fee for stopping payment on a personal money order.