Ways to Track a Money Order

Money orders are deemed as good as cash by banks and retailers across the United States. For the payee, they are considered safer than personal checks. Because they are paid for in advance, they cannot bounce. For the same reason, for the money order purchaser, money orders can seem risky. If they are lost or stolen, your money is gone. However, money order issuers can trace the documents and possibly provide refunds.

Postal Money Order

Step 1

Keep your stub when you write the money order. The stub provides the serial number of the money order.

Step 2

Fill out U.S. Postal Service Form 6401. You can download the form or request it from your local post office. Data required for the money order inquiry form includes the money order serial number, the amount and the purchaser's name, address and phone number. A processing fee has to be submitted with the form to the address indicated.

Step 3

Look for a response by mail. It may take a few weeks or longer to arrive. According to USPS.com, the post office promises only to respond as soon as it has "completed a payment inquiry." If a refund is requested, it will be issued "no sooner than 60 days from the money order issue date." As of this writing, you can request the status of the inquiry by phoning 1-866-974-2733.

Western Union Money Order

Step 1

Retain the receipt you receive upon filling out the money order.

Step 2

Fill out the tracing/refund request. It is located on the back of the money order receipt.

Step 3

Mail the form, along with $15 as a processing fee, to the address printed on the form.

Step 4

Look out for a response within about eight weeks. If Western Union finds that the money order was truly lost, it will send you a refund. If the money order cleared, you will receive a copy of that document.

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